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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Workplace Education Grant

Fund Code: 495

Purpose:

Workplace Education Planning Grants (Phase 1) are competitive grants designed for partnerships among education providers, business partners, and unions (where the workforce is unionized) to identify needs for instructional services for adult incumbent workers. In Phase 1, the partnership assesses the readiness of the business to support an educational program that meets the basic skill needs of its incumbent workers. Workforce Education Implementation Grants (Phase 2) are competitive increases designed for partnerships among education providers, business partners, and unions (where the workforce is unionized) to implement an instructional program for adult incumbent workers.

Eligible incumbent workers must:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age; and
  2. are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and:
    • Do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and have not achieved an equivalent level of education (i.e., lack the level of reading, writing, and/or computation skills expected of a high school graduate even if they already possess a high school diploma) as shown on an assessment; or
    • Are basic skills deficient if they have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Students who possess a high school credential must assess at or below 12.9 grade level equivalent (GLE) in reading, writing, or math and seek to maintain work certification and/or pursue postsecondary education or training in order to be eligible (Note: Priority of services must be given to adults without a high school credential); or
    • Are English language learners.

Priorities:

Phase 1: Priorities are to support applicants that propose to:

  • Provide evidence of an employer and education provider partnership
  • Develop a plan and timeline to conduct a Workplace Needs Analysis (WNA)
  • Identify a lead person to orient the direct work of the WNA
  • Include a variety of perspectives through participation in the WNA
  • Integrate Adult Basic Education (ABE)/English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with industry skills training/work readiness to develop increased economic self-sufficiency and a more productive workforce
  • Provide evidence of outreach to local MassHire workforce partners in the local workforce area in which the business partner is located and demonstrate alignment with local Workforce Investment and Opportunity Agenda (WIOA) plans
  • Demonstrate past effectiveness in improving the English communication skills, literacy, and or numeracy of eligible individuals by means of contextualizing curriculum and instruction
  • Ensure that participants progress through the National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Levels by offering scheduled educational activities of sufficient intensity and quality, which (a) use curriculum aligned to the Anchor Standards and level-specific standards of the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) or the standards and benchmarks of the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA MELPS), (b) are based on rigorous research, (c) include the essential components of reading, and (d) may include math instruction for English language learners, and, where possible, effectively use technology so that participants develop their digital literacy skills
  • Deliver activities supported by a solid organizational capacity (including providing equitable working conditions), highly qualified educational leaders, and well-trained instructors who have access to high quality professional development
  • Accelerate the attainment of student outcomes, especially educational functioning level (EFL) completion in the target skill area, and/or high school equivalency credential attainment
  • Engage in continuous improvement planning to enhance the quality of the services provided and determine that student and program outcomes have been met

Phase 2: Priorities are to support applicants that demonstrate:

  • a need for ABE and/or ESOL services
  • a commitment from each stakeholder to the partnership
  • the readiness of the partnership to develop, implement and evaluate a multi-year workplace education program through oversight and guidance from a Planning and Evaluation Team (PET)
  • strategies for student class participation and retention, e.g., release time, paid stipends or additional measures to support student participation for attendance and retention; and
  • evidence of alignment with the with the WIOA plan in the local workforce area(s) in which the business partner is located (where the instruction is to take place.)

Eligibility:

Phase 1: Eligible workplace education provider applicants may include, but are not limited to: (a) A local educational agency; (b) A community-based organization or faith-based organization; (c) A volunteer literacy organization; (d) An institution of higher education; (e) A public or private nonprofit agency; (f) A library; (g) A public housing authority; (h) A nonprofit institution that has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals; (i) A consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in any of elements (a) through (h) of this section; and (j) A partnership between an employer and an entity described in (a) through (i) of this section.

Phase 2: Eligible applicants are those that were awarded a Phase 1 grant.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.002

Funding:

Phase 1: $60,000 is available for up to 8 planning grants. Each grantee must conduct a WNA as part or all of the planning process. Phase 2: $350,000 is available for up to 8 implementation grants between $40,000 and $60,000.

  • Phase 1: Applicants may request up to $6,000 to conduct a WNA to determine the readiness of the partnership to support a multi-year instructional program for incumbent workers. The planning process must include a WNA as outlined in fund use.
  • Phase 2: Only those partnerships having been approved for Phase 1 are eligible for three-year implementation grants. Applicants may request up to $60,000 to implement an instructional program.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

Phase 1: Funding must be used to conduct a WNA that includes a systematic analysis of the readiness of the partnership to deliver a quality instructional program. The plan must identify:

  • a lead person to convene and train the WNA team and coordinate WNA team activities
  • an inclusive process with input from prospective students, supervisors, managers, and unions (where the workforce is unionized) to determine needs and assets to support the instructional program
  • a preliminary assessment of the evidence of incumbent workers lacking the foundation skills of a high school graduate (e.g., reading, writing, and mathematics) and/or ESOL
  • a process to identify the current and future job-related basic skill needs e.g., reading, writing, math and/or English communication among the workforce
  • ways to uncover the supports to worker participation in the educational program
  • ways to uncover barriers to worker participation in the education program and a plan to address those
  • a projected timeline to accomplish the activities described above

Phase 2: Funding must be used to:

  • Deliver classroom-based instruction in keeping with the approved program plan
  • Develop and document contextualized curriculum
  • Convene and maintain an ongoing and active PET that represents each interest group, e.g., management, supervisors, education staff, and union (where the workforce is unionized)
  • Implement NRS-required assessments
  • develop and implement formative assessments
  • Maintain class attendance retention
  • Collect and input student data into the statewide data management system.

For Phase 2, not less than 95 percent of funds must be spent on adult education direct services and literacy activities; not more than five percent may be spent on administrative costs (related to planning, administration, (including carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, providing adult education and literacy services in alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out MassHire Career Center partner responsibilities, and state approved indirect costs charged to the grant.

Programs may negotiate a higher administrative cost percentage by submitting a written request and rationale with application. The state will not grant administrative cost requests that exceed 25% of grant funds.

The Adult Education Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement not supplant" restriction. Grantees are required to use a restricted indirect cost rate of 8%, unless your calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, than you must use the lower rate for your budget. If you have an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to ESE. If you do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, you must apply annually to ESE for an approved indirect cost rate. The indirect cost rate is calculated using costs specified in the grantee's indirect cost plan. Those specified costs may not be charged as direct costs to the grant or to any other grant under any circumstances.

Applicants are required to provide an auditable matching share of 20% of the total amount of the requested grant award.

Project Duration:

Upon approval through October 16, 2020 for Phase 1, and if Phase 2 is approved, the project duration will be extended through August 31, 2021. Project awarded Phase 2 grants are conditionally renewable for FY 2022 and FY 2023 subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of federal funds and the continuance of federal authoring legislation. Total grant award duration will not exceed three years (initial plus 2 renewals).

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Contact:

Derek Kalchbrenner

All inquiries concerning Phase 1 applications must be submitted in writing to WPEdRFP@doe.mass.edu by Friday, May 29, 2020. All inquiries concerning Phase 2 applications must be submitted in writing to WPEdRFP@doe.mass.edu by Friday, October 23, 2020. All answers will be posted to the ACLS website.

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3812

Bidders' Conference:

A Bidders' Conference will be held via Zoom on Thursday, April 30th from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

Join Zoom Meeting
Password: workplace

Date Due:

Proposals for Phase 1 must be received at the Department by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 12, 2020.

Proposals for Phase 2 must be received at the Department by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020.

Required Forms:

For Phase 1 — Due Friday, June 12, 2020:

Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Document:
  • Budget Narrative
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to conduct a WNA

For Phase 2 — Due Friday, October 30, 2020:

Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Documents:
  • Budget Narrative
  • Match Narrative
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
MOA for Phase 2 Implementation
Download Word Document
Workplace Education Statement of Assurances FY21-FY 23
Download Word Document
General Education Protection Act (GEPA) form
Download Word Document
Administrative Cost Justification Form (if needed)

Additional Information:

Submission
Instructions:

Phase 1: Application Packages must be in PDF format and emailed to WPEdRFP@doe.mass.edu with required elements in the following sequence:

  • Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  • Part II — Budget Document:
    • Budget Narrative
  • Part III — Required Program Information
  • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to conduct a WNA
  • (No Match is required for Phase 1)

Awarded Recipients: Any recipient awarded a grant will be required to enter the approved budget and attach all documents in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Phase 2: Application Packages must be in PDF format and emailed to WPEdRFP@doe.mass.edu with required elements in the following sequence:

  • Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  • Part II — Budget Documents:
    • Budget Narrative
    • Match Narrative
  • Part III — Required Program Information
  • MOA for Phase 2 Implementation
  • FY 2021 - 2023 Workplace Education Statement of Assurances
  • General Education Protection Act (GEPA) form
  • Administrative Cost Justification Form (if needed)

Awarded Recipients: Any recipient awarded Phase 2 will be required to increase the Phase 1 project in EdGrants. The Part I will need to reflect the total for Phase 1 and Phase 2. The approved Phase 2 budget will need to be entered and all documents uploaded in EdGrants. If the Administrative Cost Justification Form is needed, this must be uploaded to EdGrants as well. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Note that instructional offerings should be accurately captured in LACES, the state's adult education data system.

Pagination Directions:

Applicants are required to provide page numbers on every page of the proposal, including material not subject to the page limits.

All narrative responses must be in Arial 10 point font, with 1" margins.

Narrative responses may not exceed 6 pages.

Additional, non-required documents and narrative pages that exceed 6 pages will not be read.

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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