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Competitive Education Grant Program

Grants to Virginia Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
in Eligible Areas for Career Development Opportunities

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Funding Source:

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Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC)

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Grants to Virginia nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and other educational institutions in eligible areas to promote educational advancement and workforce development for local residents. Funding is intended to support programs that increase the education and skill levels of labor pools, as a way to attract and retain employers. Eligible applicants are located in the service area for the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, including 40 tobacco-dependent localities in the Southern and Southwest areas of Virginia.

The purpose of the Program is to fund initiatives - including the creation or expansion of educational programs, equipment, and facilities - that will assist residents of the region in obtaining levels and/or types of education previously not available. Grants may be used to enhance workforce readiness through support for proven or new programs and to focus on “gaps” between education supply and occupational demand with emphasis on post-secondary STEM-H and advanced manufacturing career skills.

Proposals must accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Develop or expand regional programs to increase educational achievement as reflected by degree or credential completion in GED attainment, work-readiness certification, and post-secondary higher education;
  • Initiate training programs and facilities that result in industry-led national certifications for high demand careers, as defined in partnership with regional businesses and industries, including STEM-H;
  • Support existing private sector companies through industry-led workforce training or retraining of current and prospective workers for targeted high-demand employment opportunities, including work-based opportunities such as registered apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs;
  • Assist communities and institutions in the development of new employment training opportunities including physical improvements, construction, or equipping of education facilities for the development of distance learning centers and/or on-site education programs that were previously unavailable to residents of the region.

Priority consideration will be given to proposals that 1) advance STEM-H and/or Advanced Manufacturing workforce training; and 2) provide training in conjunction with a private company’s commitment to create new jobs and/or fill existing job openings where there are direct articulated employment linkages between program graduates and employers.

Applicants will use the Competitive Education Program application and will select from the following investment strategies:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Training
  • Post-Secondary Programs with a focus on STEM-H
  • Workforce Training Programs
  • High School Equivalency Programs

For information about evaluation criteria, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144722

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Multiple awards

Estimated Size of Grant:

While there is no formal limit on the amount of available funds that may be requested, the average award over the last three fiscal years is approximately $222,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications will only be accepted from governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions that provide workforce development programs, services, or facilities in the Tobacco Region. Eligible applicants including the following:

- Government Entities: Government entities within the tobacco region or their duly constituted political subdivisions. This includes the governing body of any city, county, or town (“locality”); the governing body of a local or regional industrial or economic development authority; regional authority, and other governmental units.
- Nonprofit Organizations: Incorporated non-profit organizations designated as tax-exempt by the federal Internal Revenue Service, such as 501(c)(3) entities.
- Educational Institutions: Public or private non-profit institutions of higher education, and other education or training institutions constituted and located in Virginia; or entities not constituted in Virginia but with significant, enduring investments and service delivery in the tobacco region.

For information about ineligible uses of funding see:

Pre-Application Information:

The FY22 applications are due July 13, 2021.

To obtain feedback prior to submitting a full application, eligible organizations are strongly encouraged to complete the pre-application form. The pre-application is optional.

As required by the Code of Virginia, all awards of grant funds require at least dollar-for-dollar (1:1) matching funds spent on direct new project expenses, with no more than 25% of the match requirement from “in-kind” sources. For additional information, see:


How to apply:

Contact Information:

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

Pre-Application Form:

Register and Apply Online:

For technical assistance with logging in or setting up an account with the Commission’s online grants portal, please contact:
Suzette Patterson, Grants System Manager (Richmond, VA)
(804) 894-9662

Contact TRRC’s grants staff for assistance with project design or to discuss a pre-application:
- Sarah Capps, Southern Regional Director (Rocky Mount, VA)
(540) 483-0179 ext. 2168,
- Sara Williams, Southwest Regional Director (Abingdon, VA)
(276) 619-4325,
- Mike Kaestner, Grants Program Director (Richmond, VA)
(804) 894-9658,

Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
701 E. Franklin St., Ste. 501
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 225-2027
Fax: (804) 786-3210

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Virginia: Southern and Southwest Virginia

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