Media Contact: Fred Lewis, [email protected]; (202) 412-2167
On January 25, 2017, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the District’s Workforce Investment Council (WIC) released a joint Request for Applications (RFA) for approximately $4.3 million in Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant funds and workforce training funds.
Aligned with the District’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified State Plan and the Career Pathways Taskforce Recommendations, the RFA combines OSSE’s AEFLA federal grant and local match funds with the WIC’s local career pathways funding in an effort to strategically coordinate efforts and fund eligible providers to offer integrated education and training programs.
Integrated education and training programs are based on a service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement. This approach is prioritized in WIOA and is considered a national best practice in adult education and workforce development due to its ability to reduce the amount of time it takes for adult learners to become prepared for gainful employment along a career pathway.
The RFA also focuses on funding partnerships and consortia that could include adult education programs, industry-specific training programs, employers, postsecondary institutions and social service organizations that would provide non-academic support services. These collaborations will ensure that District residents can enter a funded program and advance along a clearly articulated career pathway with seamless transitions between partnering programs. Work-based learning opportunities such as internships, externships, job shadowing, mentoring, and coaching are also identified as preferred program components.
Eligible applicants are required to identify career fields associated with the WIC’s list of high-demand employment sectors and/or use labor market data to propose alternative industries of focus. Eligible applicants also are required to participate in a WIC-funded Community of Practice that will support this type of programming.
“With so many District adults lacking a secondary credential and unable to find family-sustaining employment, it is clear that the District needs to strategically invest more into what works in adult education. Providing funding for this new model will not only improve the job prospects and lives of those served, but research shows that it will also have significant intergenerational effects on their children’s academic and job prospects and will improve the city’s economy overall,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS), 11 percent of District adults, or 57,048 adults, do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. The ACS data also shows that almost 50 percent of DC families headed by someone with less than a high school diploma live below the poverty level, compared to 27 percent headed by someone with some college/associates degree and 7 percent headed by someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Furthermore, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently found that by 2020, 76 percent of all jobs in DC will require some postsecondary education, which is the highest rate in the country.
“I'm excited to partner with OSSE to better serve District residents,” said Odie Donald, executive director of the Workforce Investment Council. Mr. Donald continued, “This effort will connect and prepare District providers and job seekers to meet the needs of businesses from in-demand industries. I believe that this effort will serve as a shining example for future partnerships that provide meaningful opportunities to District residents and prepare the skilled workforce that Greater Washington businesses are hungry for!"
For more information, the RFA can be found here.
Optional Pre-Application Conference
OSSE also announces two pre-application conferences for the AEFLA grant on Jan. 30, 2017 from 10 a.m. -12 p.m. and Feb. 3, 2017 from 1-3 p.m.
Mandatory Notice of Intent to Apply
The Notice of Intent to Apply Form (Attachment A in the Appendices of the RFA) must be completed and submitted electronically by Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at 3 p.m. to OSSE office of Adult and Family Education at [email protected]. Eligible providers that do not submit the required Notice of Intent to Apply Form will not be eligible to apply for OSSE grant funds. Please indicate “Notice of Intent to Apply” and your agency’s name in the subject line of your email.
Application Submission Due Date
Eligible providers must submit their application in OSSE’s Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS) by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017. Late applications will not be accepted and incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the panel. It is recommended that eligible providers submit their grant application three to five days in advance of the deadline.
Questions Related to the Grant Competition
Questions regarding the OSSE AEFLA grant competition must be submitted in writing using the AEFLA Grant Competition Question Submission Form. The last day to submit questions is Friday, March 10, 2017. Responses will be posted on the OSSE Adult and Family Education Grant, Matching Funds, and Re-Grants webpage. All other questions must be submitted by email to [email protected].