Get Summer Ready: Grants Style

Getting summer ready doesn’t just mean cutting back on the cookies and hitting the gym more often; for grant funded organizations it means beginning to stage your proposals for upcoming opportunities. As we have detailed in previous blogs, staging a grant extends the deadline, giving organizations more time to prepare a winning application. We have been working with program officers and previous grant recipients to track grant openings that support workforce development programs at nonprofits and institutions of higher education. We anticipate two significant funding opportunities to open soon: Department of Labor-YouthBuild and Department of Education- Title III Part A: Strengthening Institutions.



YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for opportunity youth ages 16-24.  Participants learn construction skills while constructing or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their own neighborhoods.  Splitting their time between the construction site and the classroom, participants earn their high school diploma or equivalency degree, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for college and other postsecondary training opportunities. YouthBuild includes significant support systems, such as mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services. The program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities:  affordable housing, education, employment, leadership development, and energy efficiency. Grantees that have been previously funded by the Department may include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries in addition to construction skills training (“Construction Plus”). A partnership with One-Stop Career Centers is required.


In the past, YouthBuild has awarded up to 80 grants a cycle, with funding ranging from $700,000 and 1.1 million. Eligible applicants include community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, local workforce development boards, community action agencies, state or local housing agencies, community development corporations, state or local youth service corps, any entity eligible to provide education or employment training under a federal program, and any entity in an area designated as a Promise Zone.


Title III Part A: Strengthening Institutions

Title III programs help eligible Institutions of Higher Education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing institutional funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. Funds are directed for strengthening institutional programs such as student retention, curriculum development, administrative management, faculty development, and technology and to assist institutions in becoming self-sufficient. As the biggest program under Title III, grant projects must first review needs of the institution as a whole, provide strong data with clear bench-marking of need, have a thoroughly prepared plan, including goals and activities with measurable outcomes and accountability, institutional commitment of resources, and a reasonable timeline to address need and implement plan.


The grant performance period is up to five years. This year’s FOA will award approximately 8-9 grants ranging from $400,000 – $450,000 per year. Eligible applicants must be institutions of higher education who are accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency;  legally authorized by the State in which it is located to be a junior or community college or to provide an educational program for which it awards a bachelor’s degree; and designated as an eligible institution by demonstrating that it has an enrollment of needy students and has low average educational or general expenditure per full-time equivalent undergraduate student.


If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities and/or want to begin staging for the openings, drop us a line. The team has experience with both of these grant programs, and has secured over a million dollars in funding for previous clients.