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Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Fund

Grants to Iowa Employers, Nonprofits, and CBOs to Expand
Employment Opportunities During the COVID-19 Crisis

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and Future Ready Iowa

Deadline Date:

09/16/20 11:59 PM Central Time


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Grants to Iowa nonprofit organizations, employers and employer consortiums, community organizations, and training providers to address the needs of the local workforce during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to expand and increase opportunities for state residents whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic. Programs created with the fund will provide Iowans with the opportunity to earn for-credit and non-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs.

This fund will award competitive grants to support local initiatives that accelerate credential attainment. Iowa Workforce Development is seeking collaborative applications that propose new, cutting-edge ideas as well as proven strategies that will help return affected Iowans to the workforce as quickly as possible in high demand careers.

IWD seeks to prioritize the investment of resources in the following areas:

  1. Iowans whose jobs have been affected by or eliminated because of the coronavirus pandemic including low skilled workers who are veterans, returning citizens, members of underrepresented communities, minorities, women, Iowans with disabilities, or low-income Iowans.
  2. Innovative and creative initiatives lead by employers to address local needs and expand opportunities for credit and noncredit education and training leading to high-demand jobs.
  3. Earning of high-demand credentials by Iowans from underrepresented populations (African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander).
  4. Strategies that increase the number of Iowans whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus obtaining support and training for high demand jobs.
  5. Proposals that include performance-based bonuses for high school students who earn national-industry-recognized credentials in high demand fields.
  6. Proposal’s connection to high-demand jobs from the State Workforce Board list, regional community college lists, locally identified  high demand jobs or non- credentialed programs supported by regional or statewide data, innovative measures, geographic diversity and equity.
  7. Proposal expands internships leading to high-demand jobs.
  8. Proposal includes community engagement with community partners incorporating existing community programs

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186313

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

IWD anticipates awarding grants ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.

Term of Contract:

Pursuant to the CARES Act, funds received as part of this program must be entirely spent by December 31, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include employers, employer consortiums, community organizations, nonprofits, or other entities, including training providers working with the aforementioned groups that are in good standing with the State of Iowa.

Applicants must reside or have their primary place of business in Iowa or hire and employ Iowans within the state for employment. IWD encourages applicants to cultivate partnerships to enhance project activities and outcomes.

If an employer is not the lead applicant, applicants are required to include a letter of commitment from an employer as a key project partner with the application submission.

Grantees must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, and equal employment opportunity.

Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative projects, including prior Employer Innovation Fund grant applications. Additional consideration will also be given to organizations and projects in local workforce areas and regions throughout the State of Iowa that document how the project will impact workforce, education, and economic development.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Technical Assistance (TA) will be provided throughout the application process, in the form of webinars and direct support.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications may be submitted until Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM.

Contact Information:

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

To apply online:

Please direct any questions regarding this NOFO to:
Kathy Leggett
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa

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