Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Workplace Education

Fund Code: 494


Workplace Education grants are 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 who must:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age; and
  2. Not be 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;
    • 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 are to support applicants that propose to:

  • Provide evidence of an employer and education provider partnership.
  • Integrate ABE/ESOL with industry skills training/work readiness to develop increased economic self-sufficiency and a more productive workforce.
  • Provide evidence of outreach to the local Workforce Area in which the business partner is located and demonstrate alignment with the local WIOA plans.
  • 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 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.


This is a continuation grant. Eligible recipients are those agencies that were awarded grants in the Open and Competitive FY 2019 and FY 2020 competitions. For those agencies awarded in FY 2019, this is the final year of the grant. For those awarded in FY 2020, this is the second year of the grant.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.002


Recipients awarded in the FY 19 Open and Competitive process are eligible to apply. FY 21 is the last year of the three-year grant.

Workplace Education PartnershipFY 21 Grant Award
Asian American Civic Association and Tufts Medical Center$68,305
North Shore Community College and North Shore Medical Center$94,274

Recipients awarded in the FY 20 Open and Competitive process are eligible to apply. FY 21 is the second year of the three-year grant.

Workplace Education PartnershipFY 21 Grant Award
Asian American Civic Association and Sumiao Hunan Kitchen$39,021
JVS and Polkadog Bakery$54,286
World Education, Hub Folding Box Company, and United Steel Workers (USW), Local 0916$27,389

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used for collaborations between/among an education provider and a business or consortia of businesses.

Funds must be used in accordance with the Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Workplace Education Partnerships to provide adult education to eligible students.

Not less than 95 percent of funds must be spent on adult education direct services and literacy activities; not more than 5 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 one-stop 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 (state requirement).

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.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than 9/1/2020) – 8/31/2021

Program Unit:

Adult and Community learning Services (ACLS)


Derek Kalchbrenner

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3812

Date Due:

Friday, June 5, 2020 by 3:00 PM

Required Forms:
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
  • Match Narrative
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Memorandum of Agreement
Download Word Document
Workplace Education Statement of Assurances
Download Word Document
General Education Protection Act (GEPA) form
Download Word Document
Administrative Cost Justification Form (if needed)

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Letter from AE State Director
View HTML Page
Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Workplace Education Partnerships
Download Word Document
Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult English Speakers of Other Languages
View HTML Page
Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education
View External Link
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
Download Word Document
Massachusetts Indicators of Program Quality for Workplace Education
Download Word Document
Workplace Education Recommended Readings

Submission Instructions:

Grantees must use the online grants information system; no paper submissions will be accepted.

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants.

In EdGrants, applicants are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY21 FC494 (Insert full legal name of program) (no acronyms, please)

All required forms should be uploaded in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director signature.

For detailed instructions, please see review the EdGrants Front Office User Guide: How to Apply Download Word Document.

Please note: The program must determine who to add as users of EdGrants in order to submit grant application as well as for payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your EdGrants level users.

Last Updated: April 22, 2020

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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