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State Training and Employment Program (STEP) Grant

Grants to Alaska Nonprofits, For-Profits, and
Agencies to Enhance Workforce Training Programs

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development - Division of Employment and Training Services

Conf. Date:

03/08/17

Deadline Date:

04/14/17 5:00 PM

Description:

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Grants to Alaska private sector employers, apprenticeship programs, workforce training providers, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to enhance training services to address labor gaps within the state. Teleconferences are scheduled for March 8 and March 22.

The purpose of the STEP is to enhance the quality and accessibility of in-state training and employment services for Alaska residents to help meet the workforce needs of employers in the state. STEP seeks to increase resident employment in industries where a high number of nonresidents are working, reduce future unemployment claims, and foster economic growth in all regions by meeting employers demand for a skilled workforce.

Organizations with training projects that will upgrade the skills of the local workforce with the latest national and state certifications and competencies in demand by employers in the priority industries are encouraged to apply. Training participants must meet the eligibility requirements of the STEP.

The Alaska Workforce Investment Board (AWIB) provides oversight for Alaska’s workforce investment system and guides STEP and other state driven employment and job training programs. The AWIB works closely with industry employers and workforce advocates to develop strategic workforce plans for industry sectors. The workforce plans aim to increase resident hire and close labor gaps, particularly in occupations where labor market projections and employer input have identified critical labor shortages.

Workforce plans have been developed for the following industries:

-Construction
-Education
-Information
-Technology
-Health Care
-Natural resource development (oil, gas, and mining)
-Transportation
-Hospitality and Tourism
-Maritime & Seafood Processing
-Alternative & Renewable Energy

The department is seeking proposals for STEP employment and training projects that serve employers, job seekers and employed workers in these and other industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. Of particular interest are projects that focus on strategic workforce objectives identified by the department and the AWIB:

(1) Health Care: Health Care continues to lead Alaska’s occupational forecast with 14 of the 25 top occupations and projects to generate 3,305 new jobs and 5,538 additional openings by 2024. Proposals should focus on employment and training for entry and mid-level occupations where training is available in Alaska, and particularly proposals that provide apprenticeship programs.

(2) Resident Hire: Training for occupations where there are high percentages of non-residents employed as identified in the 2015 Nonresidents Working in Alaska Report. For purposes of this RGA an occupation where 20 percent or more industry workers are nonresident according to the report.

(3) Reducing Recidivism: Employment and training for individuals 18 years or older who are transitioning from juvenile justice or adult correctional facilities and returning to society, as well as those who have completed their term and need industry recognized skills and credentials to be employed.

Types of Employment and Training Services Allowed:

-Industry Specific Training:Training resulting in participants acquiring industry-recognized skills, competencies, or credentials as required for a specific industry occupation. Industry specific training teaches individuals technical knowledge and hands-on skills to perform the tasks of a specific occupation. Training should result in an industry-recognized credential, certificate or licenses that attest that the individual has those skills.

-Work Based Learning: Training provided by an employer at the work place where there are paid work experience opportunities and a structured learning process is in place. Work based learning such as on-the- job training (OJT) and internships builds trainees skills and prepares them for success in that job. Work based learning entails a written agreement between the employer and the trainee that outlines the structured learning process, lists the skill competencies to be learned, states the rate of hourly pay and includes the involvement of worksite mentors who teach the required skills and evaluate the worker’s progress. OJT compensates the employer for the extra cost associated with hiring and training an individual who does not yet meet the requirements of the position. An OJT agreement may reimburse employers an amount negotiated with the Division of Employment and Training Services. Additional information regarding OJT activities is located on the Divisions OJT webpage.

-Company Specific Customized Job-Linked Training: Training designed to meet the specific workforce development needs of a business that will result in participants acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to be hired, or training for existing employees to upgrade skills to meet new conditions of the job such as introducing new technology, equipment, products or processes. Employers must clearly state why there is a need for this specific training. Applicants that apply for company specific training must state in writing their intentions to hire, retain, or advance persons that successfully complete the training.

-Quality Pre-Apprenticeship: Pre-apprenticeship is defined as a program or a set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program where there is a formal agreement with at least one or more federally RA program(s). A pre-apprenticeship program provides paid work experience and hands-on training to increase math, literacy and occupational skills needed to gain entry into a RA program. The pre-apprentice agreement should offer either direct recruitment or direct entry into the RA program. The department has adopted the USDOL Model for Pre- Apprenticeship as a guide for Alaska programs. More information about pre-apprentice training is located in Training and Employment Notice 13-12.

-Registered Apprenticeship: All apprenticeship programs must register with the US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship. Grant applicants must submit proof of current Federal Registration. Alaska has over 2,000 apprentices learning while they work in jobs leading to highly paid careers essential to Alaska’s economy. In October 2015, the AWIB passed Resolution #15-05 supporting the use and expansion of Registered Apprenticeship as an employment and training career pathway. Expanding registered apprenticeship is a goal of Governor Walker’s administration and a priority of the AWIB. The governor signed Administrative Order #278 in November 2015 that establishes a goal of apprentices performing 15 percent of the work on public funded construction projects.

Support Services for STEP Participants:

STEP can provide support services to enable participants to attend STEP training. Applicants should include all participant support costs needed within their proposal. For example, participant transportation to and from training, ground transportation during training, temporary housing, meals, and required license and certificate fees, if needed. Individuals that need additional services not provided by a STEP grant should be referred to an Alaska Job Center for assistance.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153757

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$5,300,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding requests may not exceed $400,000 per application.

The cost per participant may not exceed $5,000 including training related support services. Grant applicants may provide additional funding of their own if costs exceed $5,000 but STEP will not provide funding above the $5,000 per participant limit.

Term of Contract:

The project timeline is July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entities eligible to apply for STEP funding include private sector employers, sponsors of federally registered apprenticeship programs, nonprofit organizations, regional training centers, adult education and training providers, and local and state government agencies who meet the qualifying due diligence criteria and assurances required by the grant.

Individuals identified to receive STEP funded training and support services must meet all eligibility requirements including:

-Must have worked in a position covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) in Alaska or another state within the past five years. Eligibility for UI can be determined through copies of payroll stubs, W-2’s, letters from employers attesting that they contribute to the UI fund on behalf of the individual, or by an individual self-attesting they have contributed to UI within the past five years. If unemployed, the individual must have applied for or be receiving UI benefits or have exhausted the right to UI benefits within the past three years.

-Must be an Alaska resident, meaning a person who maintains a principal place of abode in the state for at least 30 days, is physically present in the state, and plans to remain indefinitely. Proof of Alaska residency is through an Alaska Driver’s License or State ID.

Funding Limits:
-The use of funds for personnel and sub-contractors must be clearly defined and necessary to meet the goals of the grant;
-STEP funds are for the direct benefit of participants. STEP funding is not intended to replace or supplant existing resources for training;
-STEP may not be used to construct, modify, or otherwise alter existing equipment and facilities, or to finance acquisition of new equipment and facilities; and
-Equipment is not an allowable expense.

Types of Employment and Training Services Not Allowed:

Degree Centered Long-Term Training - STEP grants are not intended to provide tuition for an associate or college degree program. There are many other resources available to individuals that want to pursue a higher education degree. Applicants should propose training that starts and ends during the grant year. However, STEP training resulting in earning college credit is encouraged and the credits listed in the proposal. Any training provided by an accredited postsecondary school or college must be completed within the timeframe of the grant and result in participants obtaining an occupational certificate, credential or license, recognized by industry.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Two teleconferences will be held to answer questions about the STEP program, this RGA, and the application process:

RGA and Application Overview
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Conference Telephone: 1-888-354-0094
Conference ID: 7345413

EGrAMS Application Questions
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Conference Telephone: 1-888-354-0094
Conference ID: 7345413

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Applications must be submitted through EGrAMS By 5:00 PM, April 14, 2017

Program Information:
https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=184837

Contact Information:

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

Apply online through EGrAMS:
egrams.dol.alaska.gov

Questions about this solicitation should be directed to:

Julie Frizzell, Program Coordinator
(907) 269-4590
julie.frizzell@alaska.gov

Questions about EGrAMs should be directed to the EGrAMS Help Desk at:

(907) 465-4893
dol.dbp.egrams.helpdesk@alaska.gov

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska

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