Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Connecting Activities

Fund Code: 428

Purpose:

This targeted grant is intended to enable the state's MassHire Workforce Development Boards (MWDBs) to sustain the state's School to Career Connecting Activities (CA) initiative by serving as the intermediaries that broker connections between public school districts and employers/community-based organizations in their regions.

Priorities:
  • Continue to build the capacity and capabilities of CA network of schools, employers and community partners who provide career development and work-based learning opportunities for youth.
  • Increase the number of students placed in WBL immersive experiences (e.g. internships, whether paid or unpaid) and youth employment compared to the number placed in FY22, and the number of employers engaged, especially in STEM fields, as reflected in new goals, by developing new strategies and efficiencies for the region's Connecting Activities (CA) initiative.
  • Support the efforts of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Executive Office of Education (EOE) and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) to improve equity and access for underserved student populations by working with school partners to target these populations for CA services.
  • Continue to implement high quality career awareness and exploration activities for partner schools, and document key elements of those activities in the CA database.
  • Improve the quality of the region's partnerships with its partner schools.
  • Offer targeted programmatic efforts designed to respond to the Workforce Skills Cabinet (WSC) Regional Blueprints and the STEM@Work initiative.
Eligibility:

The Commonwealth's 16 Workforce Development Boards

Funding Type:

State

Funding:

A total of approximately $6,782,375 is projected to be available.

Funding has been allocated to level fund FY22 amounts.

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.

DESE, in consultation with EOE and EOLWD, will distribute and additional funding to grantees by evaluating responses to Part III based on alignment to the identified priorities.

Fund Use:

Connecting Activities funds may be used for the following purposes:

  1. Students' Work Readiness and Career Development:
    • Prepare and place students in quality worksite learning experiences connected to classroom teaching and learning;
    • Coordinate career development activities in collaboration with counseling and other staff of participating schools;
    • Monitor student experience at worksites and support their success;
    • Facilitate the implementation of the Work-Based Learning Plan that connects classroom learning to worksite placement, including data entry.
    • Support the current and developing Innovation pathways in your region.

  2. Continual Improvement of Region's CA Performance:
    • Analyze overall performance of region for continual improvement, both quantitatively and qualitatively;
    • Support implementation of strategies to improve performance;
    • Sustain and enhance partnerships with public school districts and schools to improve quality of efforts and to increase scale.

  3. Employer Engagement
    • Develop and recruit business and industry to participate in work-based learning experiences and other career development activities;
    • Manage employer relationships including entering employers into the MA Career Ready Database
    • Coordinate with Career Specialist/Job Coach to place students.
    • Employ an FTE or contract position that focuses on employer engagement

  4. Innovation Pathway Support:
    • Money can be utilized flexibly but is strongly suggested to be spent on supporting districts with IP applications, teacher stipends for common planning, capstone course development, and efforts to secure internships for IP students.

  5. Additional Notes
    • Recipients of Connecting Activities funds may enter into contracts with one or more public or private organizations to provide the connecting activities services and functions. Such organizations may include One Stop Career Centers, community colleges, chambers of commerce, community-based organizations, or other similar labor market intermediaries.
    • A minimum of 70% of Connecting Activities funds must be used to support staffing. Up to 30% of Connecting Activities funds may be used for other priorities, such as professional development, youth support services, data management and accountability. Indirect Costs may be sought as long as the region has obtained an approved indirect cost rate through DESE procedures.
Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than 7/1/22) through 6/30/2023

Program Unit:

College, Career, Career and Technical Education

Contact:

Kerry Akashian

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6238

Date Due:

Friday, June 17, 2022

Required Forms:
Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants

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

FY23 FC 428 Connecting Activities (Applicant Name)

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's or Executive director signature and all required forms. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Last Updated: May 25, 2022

 
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