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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and Schools
to Promote Gainful Employment for At-Risk Youth

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U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) - Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

Deadline Date:

09/18/18 4:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, schools, and tribes to provide pre-apprenticeship services in support of occupational skills training, education, and employment services for at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Applicants are advised to verify or create the required registrations in advance of the deadline date. Participating youth will perform meaningful work and services to their communities.

In addition to construction skills training, YouthBuild applicants may include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries. This expansion into additional in-demand industries is the Construction Plus component, a priority in this grant competition.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, DOL hopes to serve approximately 5,250 participants during the grant period of performance, with approximately 85 projects awarded across the country.

Program Purpose:

This Announcement solicits applications for the YouthBuild program. The purpose of this program is to fund organizations to provide a pre-apprenticeship program model that encompasses education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and post- program placement opportunities to at-risk youth. YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, migrant farmworker youth, and other disconnected youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses multiple core issues important to youth in low-income communities: affordable housing, leadership development, education, and employment opportunities in in-demand industries and apprenticeship pathways. The YouthBuild model balances project-based academic learning and occupational skills training to prepare disadvantaged youth for career placement. The academic component assists youth who are often significantly behind in basic skill development in obtaining a high school diploma or State high school equivalency credential. The occupational skills training component prepares at-risk youth for apprenticeship and other career pathways and/or further education or training. It also supports the goal of increasing affordable housing within communities by teaching youth construction skills learned by building or significantly renovating homes for sale or rent to low-income families or transitional housing for homeless families or individuals.

Under WIOA, Apprenticeship and Career Pathways are greatly emphasized as strategies to increase employment opportunities. In the DOL WIOA Final Rule at 20 CFR 688.120, YouthBuild programs funded by DOL are recognized as pre-apprenticeship programs. Grantees funded under this announcement are expected to develop program models that align with pre-apprenticeship as described in part 688 of the Final Rule:

Pre-apprenticeship, as defined in § 681.480, means a program designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the “National Apprenticeship Act”; 50 Stat.664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.)(referred to in this part as a “registered apprenticeship” or “registered apprenticeship program”) and includes the following elements:

1) Training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers in the economy of the State or region involved;
2) Access to educational and career counseling and other supportive services, directly or indirectly;
3) Hands-on, meaningful learning activities that are connected to education and training activities, such as exploring career options, and understanding how the skills acquired through coursework can be applied toward a future career;
4) Opportunities to attain at least one industry-recognized credential; and 5) A partnership with one or more registered apprenticeship programs that assists in placing individuals who complete the pre-apprenticeship program in a registered apprenticeship program.

Grantees awarded under this announcement should be actively developing the connection points described above to develop relationships and pathways that lead to employment and placements in registered and industry-certified apprenticeships.

To support this career pathway focus, DOL strongly encourages YouthBuild applicants to develop program proposals that include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries in addition to construction skills training and is providing priority consideration points for Construction Plus proposals. This expansion into additional in-demand industries is referred to in YouthBuild as the Construction Plus component, and is a focus of this Administration. DOL offered Construction Plus in recognition that YouthBuild participants pursue fields beyond construction after exiting the program. The Construction Plus component creates an expanded opportunity for training in in-demand fields that benefits participants and local employers.

The Construction Plus model allows YouthBuild grantees to use DOL grant funds for training in additional in-demand industries with the goal of attaining industry-recognized certifications, hands-on work experience in the industry setting, and direct entry into apprenticeships or direct hiring into these industries. Since Construction Plus began in 2012, YouthBuild grant programs have used DOL funds to provide training in diverse industries and occupations, including healthcare, internet technology, hospitality and retail services, and logistics. Construction Plus programs must use the same five pre- apprenticeship elements listed above to develop their construction plus pathways.

YouthBuild programs are required partners of American Job Centers, or one-stop centers. All YouthBuild programs must adhere to the requirements of being a one-stop partner. Partnering with American Job Centers provides an opportunity for YouthBuild grantees to develop the necessary partnerships for Construction Plus training. It also supports participant success through job development support, employer connections, basic assessment and referral services, supportive service provision, and transition services for post-exit placements and continuing education and training.

WIOA places a strong emphasis on the role of employers in successful workforce development strategies, and requires grantees to report on their effectiveness in serving employers. Grantees awarded under this announcement are expected to actively develop new employer relationships and strengthen existing connections, both in construction and non-construction industries. As a required one-stop partner, YouthBuild grantees will benefit from accessing and leveraging the strengths of the American Job Center network to support participant success.

Because one of the goals of the YouthBuild program is to provide affordable housing, all YouthBuild grant programs must offer construction skills training. Construction skills training is central to the overall philosophy of the YouthBuild program and can provide a visible transformational experience for young people who have rarely had opportunities to see tangible and positive results from their efforts. All applicants must demonstrate their commitment to increasing the supply of permanent housing for homeless and/or low- income individuals and families, which benefits the community where the affordable housing is built or renovated, and also provides youth with an opportunity to give back to their communities and work and learn in a team environment. YouthBuild grantees must accomplish this goal by having a sufficient number of youth enrolled in and completing the construction skills training component to enable the program to build or substantially renovate at least one unit of housing within the grant period of performance. Each program must also have access to a work site to use for on-site construction training. The construction work sites built and renovated by YouthBuild participants must only be constructed for homeless and/or low-income individuals and families to reside in. Please note that the requirements of the YouthBuild regulations at 20 CFR 688.730 require a minimum of a 5-year restrictive covenant.

To build or substantially renovate at least one unit of housing requires the new construction or substantial renovation of single-family homes or apartment/condominium/townhouse complexes, or the construction or substantial renovation of a single dwelling within a complex. Substantial renovation includes those activities that will provide YouthBuild participants with significant construction experience and knowledge that will prepare them for entry-level employment in the construction industry and are tied to the construction curriculum used by the program. Painting or cleaning apartments and simple weatherization tasks do not constitute substantial renovation or a sufficiently comprehensive level of construction training to satisfy the requirement that each program build or substantially renovate a unit of housing, and thus, do not qualify as work sites.

The YouthBuild Final Rule (20 CFR part 688) was published on August 19, 2016. This regulation clarifies the requirements of the YouthBuild program as authorized under WIOA for program providers and participants. The regulation sets the standards under which YouthBuild program providers can carry out the goals of the program.


Due to the complex nature of the YouthBuild program model and the interest in expanding YouthBuild beyond construction skills training, this FOA is focused on ensuring that an adequate number of established YouthBuild programs are funded while newly-funded YouthBuild programs establish effective operation and delivery of services outlined in each of the required program components. Therefore, DOL intends to award at least 50 percent of the total available funding for this grant competition to eligible applicants that the DOL YouthBuild program has previously funded and which have demonstrated success in the program. The remainder of funds will be awarded to qualifying organizations not fitting this description.

DOL’s intended mix of grant awards will ensure that organizations with little experience with a DOL YouthBuild grant have an opportunity to implement a new DOL YouthBuild program, while allowing for continued support to the existing, previously-funded YouthBuild grants that have demonstrated success.


DOL expects YouthBuild grantees awarded under this FOA to track and report on the primary indicators of performance as listed in WIOA Section 116(b)(2)(A)(ii). The YouthBuild program is held to the six WIOA primary indicators of performance for youth. These indicators are:

1) Education and Employment Rate – Second Quarter After Exit;
2) Education and Employment Rate – Fourth Quarter After Exit;
3) Median Earnings – Second Quarter After Exit;
4) Credential Attainment;
5) Measurable Skill Gains; and
6) Effectiveness in Serving Employers

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 128055

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

It is expected that funding is available for approximately 85 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

You may apply for an amount ranging from $700,000 to a ceiling amount of up to $1.1 million.

Term of Contract:

The period of performance is forty (40) months with an anticipated start date of January 1, 2019. This performance period includes all necessary implementation and start-up activities. This includes:

-A planning period of up to four months to complete the planning milestones below;
-Two years of active program services (education, occupational skills training, and youth leadership development activities) for one or more cohorts of youth; and
-An additional twelve months of follow-up support services and tracking of participant outcomes for each cohort of youth.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants for these grants are public or private nonprofit agencies. These organizations include rural, urban, or Native American agencies that have previously served disadvantaged youth in a YouthBuild or other similar program. These agencies or organizations may include, but are not limited to:

-Community and faith-based organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit status;
-An entity carrying out activities under WIOA, such as a local workforce development board or one-stop center partner program;
-Educational institutions, including a local school board, public school district, or community college;
-A community action agency;
-A State or local housing development agency;
-Any Indian and Native American entity eligible for grants under Section 166 of WIOA, including Federally and other than Federally-Recognized Tribes, Native American non-profit organizations, and Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native organizations;
-A community development corporation;
-A State or local youth service conservation corps; and
-Any other public or private nonprofit entity that is eligible to provide education or employment training under a Federal program and can meet the required elements of the grant.

Grantees who received funding from the FY 2017 YouthBuild competition [FOA-ETA-17- 03] are funded through December 2020, and these grantees (based on their unique Employer Identification Numbers) are not eligible to participate in this competition. Additionally, only one grant will be awarded to an individual organization. An individual organization must have a unique Employer Identification Number and its program services shall not be administered at the same location as any other YouthBuild grantee.

Among eligible applicants listed above, the applicant agency or organization must also maintain a local presence in any identified target communities to be served.

This FOA distinguishes between previously-funded applicants (those applicants that have previously received at least one YouthBuild grant from DOL which is near completion and provides sufficient performance outcomes for review) and new applicants (those applicants that have never received a DOL YouthBuild award, have not received an award within the last six grant cycles, or have not yet completed their first DOL YouthBuild grant). Carefully consider the requirements below and apply under the appropriate category (Category A or Category B), being sure to respond to the application instructions (project narrative, evaluation criteria, and attachments) that correspond to your category.

Applicant Types:

This FOA refers to previously-funded applicants as “Category A applicants.” DOL intends to award at least 50 percent of the available grant funds to applicants in Category A. A Category A applicant must meet the following requirements, as of the date of publication of this FOA:

a) At least one of the applicant’s previous YouthBuild grants must have been awarded from a competition that took place in FY 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015; and

b) The applicant must not have received an award in the FY 2017 (FOA-ETA-17-03) competition.

Note that applicants previously funded by DOL’s YouthBuild program, but not within the past six grant competitions (i.e. the applicant has not received a YouthBuild award since FY 2011 or earlier), will now be considered as new applicants who must apply under Category B. Previously, these applicants would have still been considered as Category A applicants. This change will provide applicants who have not been funded under the YouthBuild program in recent years to demonstrate growth and increased success in serving disconnected youth through improved organizational capacity, implementation of best practices, and more relevant performance outcomes than those available prior to FY 2012.

This FOA refers to new applicants as “Category B applicants.” DOL intends to award up to 50 percent of grant funds for awards to applicants in Category B. All applicants that do not meet the requirements for Category A above must apply as Category B. Category B applicants fall into one of these categories:

a) Applicants that did not receive a YouthBuild award in FY 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015 but received a DOL YouthBuild award in one or more of the following grant competitions: FY 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and/or 2016; or

b) Applicants that have never received a DOL YouthBuild award.

Grantees that were funded by DOL for the first time in FY 2016 are included with new applicants because DOL will not have sufficient information to fairly evaluate their application against previously-funded applicants. During this competition, these grantees will not have completed their grant’s active service cycle (as defined by the two-year period during which they are enrolling and serving active participants). The performance outcomes for YouthBuild are long-term in nature, and DOL will not have sufficient information on the performance of FY 2016 grantees to evaluate them based on their performance of FY 2016 grantees to evaluate them based on their past performance.

Pre-Application Information:

This program requires matching funds. Such funds may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions and equal to 25% of the total Federal share of costs. Any resources contributed to the project in addition to matching funds will be considered leveraged resources.

All applicants must have a DUNS Number and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting an application.

The ETA must receive applications no later than 4:00:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 18, 2018.

Webinar Recording:

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Agency Contact:

Katie Neupane, Grants Management Specialist
(202) 693-3160

Address mailed applications to:

The U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration, Office of Grants Management
Attention: Brinda Ruggles, Grant Officer
Reference FOA-ETA-18-04
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N4716
Washington, DC 20210

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)