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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: 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 implement an instructional program for adult incumbent workers who:

  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • 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; or are basic skills deficient; or are English language learners.

Note: Priority of services must be given to adults without a high school credential. 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.


Grant program priorities are as follows:

  • demonstrable need for ABE and/or ESOL services;

  • commitment from each stakeholder to the partnership;

  • alignment with the WIOA local plan package for the local workforce area in which a business partner is located;

  • 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);

  • curriculum and instruction that are (1) aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) and, for English learners, the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA MELPS); (2) integrate ABE/ESOL with industry skills training and work readiness to develop increased economic self-sufficiency and a more productive workforce; (3) effectively use technology to help develop participants' digital literacy skills, where possible; and (4) include math instruction for English learners, if applicable;

  • strong organizational capacity (including providing equitable working conditions), and highly qualified educational leaders and well-trained instructors who have access to high quality professional development;

  • strategies for student class participation and retention, (e.g., release time, paid stipends); and

  • achievement of student outcomes, especially educational functioning level completion and/or high school equivalency credential attainment.


This is a continuation grant. Eligible recipients are those agencies that were awarded grants in the FY 2020 Open and Competitive and FY 2021 Open and Competitive competitions. For the one agency awarded in FY 2021, this is the third and final year of the three-year grant. For the three agency awarded in FY 2020, this is the last and final year (extension granted due to COVID restrictions).

Funding Type:

Federal (CFDA) 84.002


Approximately $155,696 is available for this grant.

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.

See FY2023 Table 1 for Fund Code 494

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 Policies for Effective Workplace Education Partnerships (revised in November 2020) 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, carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, providing adult education and literacy services in alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out WIOA 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 the application. The state will not grant administrative cost requests that exceed 15% 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 the calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, in which case the grantee must use the lower rate for its budget. If the grantee has an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to DESE. If the grantee does not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, it must apply annually to DESE 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 9/1/2022) – 8/31/2023

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)


Kathleen T. Rodriguez

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3842

Date Due:

Friday, June 3, 2022

Required Forms:

Required documents to be submitted through EdGrants:

  1. Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)

  2. Part II — Budget Workbook
    • Budget Narrative
    • Match Narrative

  3. FY2023 494 Workplace Education Statement of Assurances

  4. General Education Protection Act (GEPA) Statement

Required documents to be submitted in the online portal:

  1. Part III — Required Program Information

  2. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (using sample MOA template)

  3. Administrative Cost Justification Form (if applicable)

Additional Information:

Massachusetts Policies for Effective Workplace Education Partnerships

Massachusetts Quality Indicators for Workplace Education Partnerships

Submission Instructions:

All grant materials listed in the Required documents to be submitted through EdGrants section of this RFP must be submitted through EdGrants.

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

  • FY23 (insert fund code number) ACLS (applicant's full legal 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 (Part I signatures must be scanned uploads of wet signatures; we cannot take electronic signatures at this time.) / Coversheet with CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director signature. 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 applicant 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.

Programs will be notified by ACLS when EdGrants funding opportunity becomes available.

Last Updated: April 14, 2022

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