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Workforce Opportunity Grant

Grants to Louisiana IHEs for Employee
Development Programs in Eligible Locations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Rapides Foundation and Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA)

Deadline Date:

10/15/21 5:00 PM CT


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Grants of up to $75,000 to Louisiana IHEs for employee training programs in eligible locations. Funding is intended to support educational and certification programs offered by collaborating postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry groups. The purpose of the program is to improve employee skills, raise employee wages, and increase production or service capacity from industry partners. Funded programs must benefit Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn parishes.

The Workforce Opportunity Grant provides an opportunity to fund new educational training or certification support to qualified candidates for immediate high-wage job opportunities for which there is demonstrated unmet employer demand within The Rapides Foundation’s nine-parish service area. 

Applicants are encouraged to build strong partnerships between employers, industry groups, and the workforce system to design and deliver courses through accelerated learning strategies, redesigned curricula, distance learning, work-based training, and innovative uses of technology to enhance learning activities.

Eligible projects must:

  • Increase the production capacity of business or industry partners.
  • Increase skills and knowledge of potential employees or existing employees that will require higher wages.
  • Address an immediate workforce demand.
  • Offer trainings that do not exist in the region.

Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate the following:

  • Trainings that imbed nationally recognized industry-based credentials into their curriculum.
  • Trainings for job opportunities with base wages over $18/hr

Funding may be requested for the following items: Tuition, faculty/trainers, supplies,
studentstipends and equipment that can be explicitly linked to enhanced programmatic

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160685

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Workforce Opportunity Grant provides grants of up to $75,000.

Term of Contract:

The Workforce Opportunity Grant provides grants for up to a twelve-month period. Length of training programs should be one year or less.

Grant start dates:
- April 1, 2021 (For applications due January 11, 2021)
- July 1, 2021 (For applications due April 9, 2021)
- November 1, 2021 (For applications due August 9, 2021)
- January 10, 2022 (For applications due October 15, 2021)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible grant recipients include accredited, nonprofit, postsecondary institutions. Trainings must benefit businesses and employees located within The Rapides Foundation's nine-parish service area (Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn parishes).

Not funded:
- Lobbying or political programs or events.
- Activities, projects, or programs exclusively benefitting members of sectarian or religious organizations.
- Biomedical, clinical or educational research.
- Direct support to individuals or endowments.
- Funding supplanting existing sources ofsupport.
- Individuals, including patient assistance funds.
- Social events or similar fundraising efforts ortelethons.
- Projects outside of the Foundation’s service area.
- Operating expenses not used for significantly expanding the services of ongoing organizations.
- Vans or other vehicles.
- Building purchase or renovation.

Pre-Application Information:


- Proposals due: January 11, 2021
- Notification of Selection: February 26, 2021
- Grant Start Date: April 1, 2021

- Proposals due: April 9, 2021
- Notification of Selection: May 28, 2021
- Grant Start Date: July 1, 2021

- Proposals due: August 9, 2021
- Notification of Selection: October 1, 2021
- Grant Start Date November 1, 2021

- Proposals due: October 15, 2021
- Notification of Selection: December 10, 2021
- Grant Start Date: January 10, 2022

Note: The proposal must be fully submitted by the application due date, therefore, you must begin uploading the completed proposal and supporting documents prior to 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Applicants should allow a minimum of three (3) hours for the upload process.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to schedule a call or a meeting with the Economic Development Initiative Program Officer to discuss alignment and feasibility of their proposal before submitting a proposal. Contact Matt LaBorde, Program Officer, to request a meeting.

A 10% cash funding match will be required by the employer(s) for the total cost of the training.

NOTE: Due to the lack of available state funds, projects that qualify for the Louisiana Workforce Commission Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) will temporarily be accepted.

Any applications that are submitted after each proposal due date will be considered during the next application cycle.

Applicants whose proposals are not funded may submit a revised application for consideration in a subsequent cycle. In such cases, repeat applications are advised to seek a consultation with program staff prior to submitting another proposal.

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

For questions related to this funding opportunity, contact:
Matt LaBorde, Program Officer
The Rapides Foundation
Direct: 318-767-3003

For assistance with submitting the online proposal:
Brooke Morrow, Programs Assistant
The Rapides Foundation
Direct: 318-767-3013

The Rapides Foundation
1101 4th Street, Suite 300
Alexandria, LA 71301
Main lines: 318-443-3394 or toll-free 800-994-3394

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Louisiana: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn Parishes

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