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2018 Vital Brooklyn Green Job Training Grant

Grants to New York Nonprofits for Job Training
to Grow Central Brooklyn's Green Sector

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) - Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/13/18 3:00 PM ET


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Grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 to New York nonprofit community-based organizations to provide job training programs in support of the green economy in Central Brooklyn. Applicants must be prequalified in the online grants system prior to applying. Funding is intended for training programs for jobs related to clean energy, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture.

Through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, New York is targeting investment into communities most in need. Central Brooklyn is a New York neighborhood lagging on a number of health indicators including high unemployment and lack of access to green space. This area of Brooklyn is also identified as a potential environmental justice area. Part of the strategy to funnel investment into New York communities is to work with grassroots and community based organizations to empower communities with the keys to improving their environment, including providing environmental education and preparing residents for careers in the green economy. To further the above strategy, DEC is requesting proposals for job training programs in the green economy targeting New Yorkers residing in Central Brooklyn.

DEC’s mission is to conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State and their overall economic and social well-being. DEC’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) addresses environmental justice concerns in the environmental permit review process and across other DEC operations. OEJ runs several programs that benefit underserved communities and address disproportionate adverse environmental impacts in those communities.

Project Objectives:

To promote health and environmental improvement in Central Brooklyn, this RFA seeks proposals for job training programs in the green jobs sector. Education plays an important role in the success of communities to promote healthy living and improve environmental quality. As part of a larger investment in healthy food, education and youth development, and job creation in these communities, the Governor increased investments in creative education programs and DEC is requesting applications for the development of programs to provide new opportunities in Central Brooklyn in the green job sector. Applicants should submit proposals for education and training projects for occupational skills sought by employers in the above fields and should demonstrate local and industry demand for the skill set.

Proposals demonstrating a partnership with employers and proposals demonstrating that the proposed training will lead to the acquisition of a nationally-recognized green certification, a skill set certificate, a certificate degree, or a comparable award will receive additional points.

Some examples of fields within the green jobs sector are:

Clean Energy:
Clean energy comes from sources such as the sun and wind, which are renewable and do not pollute the environment. Training programs in clean energy can be in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced technologies. Jobs in clean energy promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, reduced waste and pollution, and improved transit.

Green Infrastructure:
Green infrastructure are strategically planned and managed networks of natural lands, working landscapes, and other open spaces that conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide associated benefits to human populations. Job training in green infrastructure may include the development and implementation of various green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens, permeable pavers, and urban forests. Training may also include planning and conducting restoration of land, including general botanical classes or introductory horticultural classes related to land and stream restoration or indigenous species and native plant re-vegetation; landscaping; and soil science.

Urban Agriculture:
Urban agriculture is defined as growing food and raising animals in cities, accompanied by complementary activities such as processing and distributing food, and collecting and reusing food waste and rainwater. Examples of urban agriculture include: community gardens, urban farms, urban apiary, rooftop farms, vertical farming, backyard chickens for egg production, aquaponics, and hydroponics. Training programs in urban agriculture may include the use of compost and soil amendments and associated sampling, testing, and design considerations, and management techniques.

Project Eligibility:

Proposals funded under this RFA will support environmental workforce development and job training programs that will recruit, train, and provide residents of Central Brooklyn with the skills needed to secure full time employment in the green sector such as clean energy, green infrastructure, or urban agriculture.

Project proposals and work plans must address all of the following criteria:
1. Proposals must be for education or training in occupational skills in the green sector. Examples include clean energy, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture; and
2. Proposals must demonstrate that their methods and curricula are aligned with the full skill set sought by employers in the chosen green sector; and
3. Proposals must demonstrate recruitment strategies for participants currently residing in an area meeting the geographic scope; and
4. Proposals must demonstrate local demand for the provided skill set and strategies for job placement and job search assistance; and
5. Eligible projects for grant funding must be located in the Assembly Districts listed in the RFA. Maps of the Assembly Districts included are provided in Appendix I of the RFA.

Proposals must be for proposed programs located in or directly benefiting one of or a combination of the following Assembly Districts (AD) listed under Eligible Project Locations.

Eligible Project Expenditures:
1.Personal Services Salary. are employees working directly for the grantee and may include project coordinators, faculty/instructors, in-house education/training staff, and support staff such as lab or teaching assistants. Staff who spend a portion of their time working directly for the grant must maintain time records documenting the amount of time performing grant-related work.
2. Fringe Benefits. Fringe benefits consist of allowances and services provided by employers to their employees as compensation other than salaries of staff whose salaries are directly charged to this grant. Fringe benefits include the costs of leave, employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans. Fringe benefits are limited to 15 percent of the staff salary. Paid staff, including fringe benefits, to any individual person cannot exceed 30 percent of the total grant award.
3. Contractual. Contractual services include all services performed by individuals or firms considered to be professional or semiprofessional in nature. A written agreement is required. Contractual services (e.g., an adjunct professor or guest lecturer) related directly to education/training should be categorized under Contractual.
4. Equipment. Costs for equipment (purchase or rental). Note that any equipment purchased with funding provided by this grant program cannot be sold, transferred or used for other purposes without written approval from DEC.
5. Curriculum Development. Curriculum development includes all contractual, personal and fringe benefit direct costs directly attributable to the development or modification of curricula to be used in program courses and should be categorized under Contractual or personnel respectively.
6. Recruitment. Recruitment refers to finding and referring individuals to training programs. If this work is completed by a staff member it should be categorized under personal services salary/fringe, while any non-staff time/services spent on recruitment should be categorized under Contractual.
7. Education/Training. Education/training includes all contractual services and/or staffing expenses directly attributable to education and training activities. These expenses should be listed under Contractual or Salary/Fringe respectively. Additional education/training costs may consist of classroom space, books and materials, training supplies (including on-the- job training), etc. and should be categorized in the B-1 Summary according to expense type. Applicants may budget a portion of funds for basic skills education/training, including adult basic education, developmental education, and related services.
8. Support Services. Support services include services such as transportation, child care, dependent care, and needs-related payments that are necessary to enable an individual to participate in training activities. They, however, do not include wage subsidies. Applicants may budget up to 5 percent of funds for support services. Support services should be categorized under Other.
9. Placement/Retention Services. Placement services refer to activities that assist in placing participants in employment and may include assisting participants with resumes, hosting job fairs or otherwise engaging employers, and referring participants to employers. Retention services refer to supportive services to ensure that participants, once placed, remain employed. This should be categorized under Personal Services or Contractual Services.
10. Travel. Travel expenses are incurred specifically to carry out the performance of this grant. Examples of travel costs are transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees traveling on official business to carry out the performance of this grant. Note that the grant will not pay for travel to conferences or other professional meetings or any travel outside New York State.
11. Supplies and other direct costs. Supplies or other direct costs referred to in this category include all tangible and expendable personal property other than equipment, such as pens, pencils, paper, printers, ink, textbooks, etc. Supplies should be categorized under Other.
12. Grant Administration Costs: Administrative costs incurred by a fiscal sponsor for administering the grant or assisting in the project. Costs claimed by the fiscal sponsor to administer the grant that are paid from grant funds are limited to management and recordkeeping of grant funds, preparation of grant contract documents and preparation and submittal of mandatory reports on funded projects as specified in the grant contract. Administrative costs cannot exceed 10 percent of the total grant award and should be clearly identified as ‘Administrative’ costs in the Personal Services or Contractual Services budget category.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183527

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Minimum grant amount is $25,000. Maximum grant amount is $50,000.

Term of Contract:

All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables accounted for in performance measures that can be completed and invoiced within a 24-month contract period/term.

The activity for the request must fall within the January 17, 2019 to January 16, 2021.

Project expenditures prior to Master Contract for Grants (MCG) start date and after the MCG end date are not eligible for reimbursement or match.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An eligible applicant must be a not-for-profit corporation (NFP) community-based organization, or a community-based organization may partner with a NFP that will serve as their fiscal sponsor.

Applicants whom received funding through the 2017 Environmental Justice Green Jobs for Youth RFA or the 2018 Vital Brooklyn Green Job Training Grant are not eligible to apply for this opportunity.

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, a community based organization is an organization that:
- Serves the residents of an area equal to or smaller than a town or city outside of New York City, or an area equal to or smaller than one of the five boroughs within New York City; and
- Cannot have its charter revoked or otherwise be dissolved through the action of another organization; and
- Is able to enter into legal agreements independent of any affiliated nonprofit organization, government body, university or other entity that would be ineligible to apply for this grant; and
- Has more than 50 percent of its members residing in the affected community, or more than 50 percent of the people served by the applicant community group residing in the affected community.

Organizations serving areas larger than indicated above are not eligible for this grant opportunity. For example, if your organization serves all five (5) boroughs, is “city wide” or is “regional” that would make your organization ineligible. However, ineligible not for profits may serve as fiscal sponsors for eligible community based organizations or partner with eligible organizations.

For this grant opportunity, a NFP is subject to New York State’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, is qualified for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, has an IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter to be incorporated in New York State and is current in their charities reporting requirements with the Office of the Attorney General.

Individuals, municipalities, universities, and unincorporated groups may not apply, but an eligible nonprofit organization, known as a fiscal sponsor, may apply on behalf of an unincorporated community based organization. A community based organization may partner with a New York State nonprofit organization (NFP) that will serve as their fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor accepts responsibility to serve as a fiscal conduit for a DEC-funded project, receiving and disbursing funds related to the grant, and administering the requirements throughout the DEC grant process, including final reporting of grant activity. The unincorporated group completes the project activity.

All NFP applicants must be registered and prequalified in the NYS Grants Gateway by the due date of this application to be considered eligible for this grant opportunity.

A NFP serving as a fiscal sponsor to an eligible community‐based organization must provide, at the time of application, a fiscal sponsor agreement between the community group, otherwise the application will be disqualified in the application pass/fail review. The fiscal sponsor must assume the responsibility for submission of the on‐line grant application and must sign a contractual agreement with DEC on behalf of the community group should grant funding be awarded. The NFP fiscal sponsor is not required to have members in the affected community.

Fiscal Sponsor Agreement (as applicable):

A fiscal sponsor letter of agreement must be uploaded with the application by the application due date (if applicable). The letter of agreement must be between the qualifying, eligible community group and the NFP that will serve as the community group’s fiscal sponsor. The agreement must state the NFP will serve as the fiscal sponsor and will assume the responsibility for the project application, the performance of work consistent with this RFA and execution of a State of New York Master Contract for Grants or Letter of Agreement. The letter of agreement should be addressed to the NFP applicant serving as the fiscal sponsor.

The following costs are not eligible for grant funding or reimbursement under this program:
1. Costs that are paid from other state or federal funding sources are not eligible for reimbursement.
2. Indirect costs: indirect (overhead) costs such as: utilities, office rent, insurance). Rent for facility or space use outside of your office for the proposed project may be included and should be categorized under Other.
3. Costs of preparing the grant application.
4. Costs relating to the project that were incurred prior to the start date of the grant contract or after the termination date of the grant contract.
5. Legal costs related to the commencement of or participation in any action before a municipal, state or federal court or other agency.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Grants Reform Team offers regular live webinars for anyone who is interested in additional information about Grants Gateway, the Prequalification process, or submitting online applications.

Learn more including times and dates for these webinars:

Any additional technical training related to this application will also be posted to the training calendar.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Due Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Timetable of Key Events:
Proposals Due to OEJ: December 13th, 2018
Applicants Notified of Funding Decisions: January 3rd, 2019
Approximate Project Start: January 17th, 2019
End Date: January 16th, 2021

Pursuant to the New York State Division of Budget Bulletin H-1032, dated June 7, 2013, New York State has instituted key reform initiatives to the grant contract process which require nonprofits to register in the Grants Gateway and complete the Vendor Prequalification process for applications to be evaluated.

All Applicants must be Prequalified in the Grants Gateway at the time and date that the application is due. Applications received from nonprofit Applicants that have not registered and are not Prequalified in the Grants Gateway by the application due date and time listed at the beginning of this document cannot be evaluated. If you are not Prequalified at that time and date, your application will not be considered. Such applications will be disqualified from further consideration.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the prequalification process as soon as possible in order to participate in this grant opportunity. Please do not delay in beginning and completing the prequalification process. The State reserves 5 days to review submitted Prequalification applications. Prequalification applications submitted to the State for review less than 5 days prior to the application deadline may not be considered. Applicants should not assume that their Prequalification information will be reviewed if they do not adhere to this timeframe.

Advance payments of up to 25% of the awarded grant amount may be available to not-for-profit grantees once a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) has been fully approved by all applicable State agencies. Only not-for-profits are eligible to receive advance payments under State Finance Law.

View this opportunity on New York State Grants Gateway:

A recording of the Vital Brooklyn Grant Application Webinar can be found here:

Contact Information:

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

Dana McClure

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City: Central Brooklyn;   New York

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