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I. Grant Funding Opportunity Description
The Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) supports up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities for Vermont workers through workforce development activities aimed at strengthening and expanding the labor force in Vermont.
The Vermont Department of Labor’s has developed a statewide Work-Based Learning and Training Program that serves transitioning secondary and postsecondary students and Vermonters seeking work-based experience as part of a career experience or change and is designed to support Vermonters who are graduating from postsecondary education or a secondary CTE program or who are pursuing a career change with a paid on-the-job work experience lasting 12 weeks or fewer; and support employers by providing them with assistance in developing and implementing meaningful work-based learning and training opportunities.
Funding of this grant may be used to build or administer a new or existing Work Based Learning and Training program or to provide interns with stipends during the Work Based Learning and Training. From a programmatic perspective, the divisions goal is to serve 400 individuals over the course of the fiscal year.
This funding opportunity announcement describes the process for awarding $400,000.00 of Vermont Work Based Learning and Training Program Funds through a competitive application process. Please note that as mentioned in the Grant Program Description above, VDOL will be issuing two rounds of Work-based Learning and Training grants in fiscal year 2023. This announcement pertains to the first round of funding launching on August 14, 2023. The second round of funding (approximately $475,000) will be announced in early fall. Please note that the Workforce Development Division reserves the authority to rollover unallocated funds from round one of granting to round two. If any budgetary reductions or rescissions are enacted by the State of Vermont, the Department of Labor may seek to modify this granting plan and all subsequent grant agreements in accordance with available funding or may cancel the agreement within the agreement’s provisions for cancellation.
II. Award Information
Award Type and Amount: Grant awards will range from $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000. Applicants may not request more than $50,000. Factors that will support awarding a higher grant amount include:
- The establishment of new opportunities for Work Based Learning and Training with a Vermont employer,
- The degree to which the employer, industry organization, philanthropic organization, or applicant is also funding costs such as program administration, intern stipends, job-related equipment or supplies, mentoring or coaching of employer or intern, or other employer incentives,
- The number of interns relative to the size of the award requested,
- Whether Work Based Learning and Trainings funded by this grant are structured to support the possibility of a job offer for the participant,
- The use of innovative approaches in recruitment, selection, and support for interns that will result in serving more individuals with disabilities, individuals with language access needs, or who have otherwise been historically marginalized, and
- Unique characteristics in the proposal align with the state’s efforts to increase the labor force in high demand occupations as defined by 10 V. S. A 22A §544.
Period of Performance: The standard period of performance for the first round of grants awarded under this funding opportunity is August 14, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
a. Eligibility. Public and private entities that conduct business primarily in Vermont are eligible to apply for this grant. Organizations must be in good standing with the state, be able to comply with all standard state provisions and assurances contained in “Attachment C: Standard State Provisions for Contracts and Grants” as revised 12/15/2017 and comply with the State of Vermont’s Agency of Administration Bulletin No. 5, Policy for Grant Issuance and Monitoring, located on the Agency’s website. Additionally, all business entities receiving funds must have an active Vermont JobLink account.
b. Proposal Criteria. The Vermont Department of Labor is seeking proposals to support the creation and expansion of Work Based Learning and Training programs and opportunities at the secondary level and at the postsecondary level if the intern is enrolled at a career or technical education program. Grants will not be awarded to projects or proposals that replace or supplant existing positions with interns through the creation or expansion of Work Based Learning and Training opportunities.
c. Experience Criteria. Work Based Learning and Training proposals funded through this grant opportunity must achieve the following aims:
- Provide participants with paid work experience with a Vermont employer for a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks;
- Promote understanding and competency in occupation-specific or transferable skills required for success in the workplace through work-based experiences; and
- Include employer involvement with the development of industry-specific practices for on-the-job training.
d. Grantee selection process. The grantee selection process will include an RFP to be published on June 5, 2023. All applications will be due by June 30, 2023. All applications received will be reviewed by a Workforce Development (WFD) committee for eligibility and content. The WFD committee will have sole discretion on which applicants receive a grant and grant funding provided may differ from grantee to grantee. All selected grantees will be selected and announced by July 25, 2023. Selected organizations will be contacted directly as well as posted on the VDOL website at labor.vermont.gov.
e. Pre-award eligibility and risk assessment process. All applicants and subsequent grantees will need to be certified in good standing with VDOL’s Worker’s Compensation program, Unemployment Insurance program, and the Vermont Department of Taxes. Applicants will also need to include a certificate of insurance, further defined in Exhibit A. All usual grant requirements will apply to the Work Based Learning and Training grants under this granting plan. The attached compliance form (Exhibit A) will be completed for each selected applicant.
f. Grant award document. The grant award document will be in line with the Department’s standardized grant documents. For more information on the requirements and standards, please reference standard Bulletin 5 grant forms and attachments.
g. VISION entry. The business office will work closely with the grant administrator to ensure all data is timely entered into VISION.
h. Amendment process. If at any point in the period of performance for the 2023 Work Based Learning and Training grants (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024) the Department or Division sees the need to revise this granting plan, a formal request will be submitted to the grants administrator and the division director for review and execution. Amendment requested submitted after March 1, 2024 will not be considered.
i. Funding. All funds for grants issued under this granting plan are funded with state dollars; therefore, subject to the State of Vermont’s Agency of Administration Bulletin No. 5, Policy for Grant Issuance and Monitoring.
j. Materials. All activities funded by this grant shall be credited to VDOL and shall include the approved VDOL logo in all disseminated materials. All selected grantees will receive a media packet including further directions and all approved logos.
k. Grant modifications. If at any point in the period of performance for the 2023 Work Based Learning and Training grants (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024) the grantee or grant administrator sees the need to revise the executed grant document, a formal request should be submitted to the grants administrator for review and execution. Amendment requested submitted after the halfway point of the grant period will not be considered.
SCORING AND SELECTION:
a. Internal approval process. The internal approval process will have three steps. Step one will be the grants administrator reviewing all applications for eligibility. Once ineligible applications are eliminated, the grants administrator will further review the content and evaluate the strength of each application. Please reference the scoring key (Exhibit B) for additional scoring information. The top applications will be discussed with and scored by a committee assembled by WFD and the applicants with the top scores will be selected. In the case of a scoring tie, the Division director will act as the tie breaker. Each applicant will be evaluated on the same rubric by neutral parties to ensure fairness. If any party in the approval process experiences a conflict of interest, they will be recused from the review process of that application.
b. Notice of award. Selected applicants will be notified via email about their award status by June 25, 2023. A full list of selected applicants will be posted on the VDOL website. If an application is not selected, the only notification may be via the website, so please check it at critical deadlines for updates.
a. Quarterly Reports. Quarterly financial statements and are due no later than the fifteenth of the month following the quarter being reported, (January 15, April 15, July 15, October 15). Expenditures reported on the quarterly financial statement will be on an accrual basis.
b. Performance Reports. Within 30 days of the expiration of the grant, the grantee will provide the Vermont Department of Labor with performance data as outlined in the grant agreement. Grantees will submit quarterly fiscal reports using a form supplied by the Department. Grantees will submit a programmatic performance report on or before December 15, 2023, or within 30 days after the grant ends, including a closeout package. The Department of Labor will provide a form for the programmatic report which will include request to provide one or more testimonials by a participating intern and employer, in addition to the following data points:
- Name of the person/entity receiving funding; Amount of funding;
- Activities and training provided;
- Number of intern applications;
- Number of interns placed;
- Number of Work Based Learning and Trainings completed;
- Occupational areas served;
- Rate and total pay for each intern;
- Number of employers served;
- Number of permanent employment offers made by employer at completion of Work Based Learning and Training;
- Number of interns who received offers of employment made by hosting employer before or at the end of the grant period;
- Demographic data including age, sex, and race, color, or natural origin of interns;
- Future needs for resources.
- Any other metrics or information as requested by the division.
c. Cash Requests. Payment must be requested using a Cash Request Form submitted to the business office.
d. Grant Closeout. A Grant Closeout Package must be submitted within 45 days of the end date of the grant.
e. Site Visits. Site visits may be conducted by VDOL staff with prior notice to grantee.
f. Reporting. Follow up – direct contact with interns
g. Data Review. All data received will be reviewed at the six-month mark of the period of performance.
OFFICIAL GRANT/MONITORING FILE:
a. All grant files will be kept in electronic format. Each grant will have a dedicated folder with all relevant information included.
b. Each grant will be logged in the division’s grant inventory sheet.
c. Each file will contain the grant application, all supporting documents, the draft and final version of the grant, the signed grant, all financial requests, all financial records, correspondence with grantees, and any other information as required by federal or state law, subject to updates.
d. The Contracts and Grant Administrator is the acting custodian of the file(s), though the files are stored on the divisions SharePoint for access by the entire division.
Required materials. Please reference Attachment A, B, C, and D for all required materials. This includes the Project Proposal, Budget, Budget Narrative. Please submit all materials in Word format.
Questions. All questions related to the grant program or application may be submitted to email@example.com by June 26, 2023 (4:00pm). Please reference 2023 Work Based Learning and Training Grant in the subject of your email. We do not have the ability to answer questions via telephone or offer one on one technical assistance at this time.