Section 2660.50  Administrative Requirements


Grant opportunities and awards will be administered in a manner that complies with all state and federal requirements applicable to each funding opportunity, including, but not limited to GATA, the Uniform Guidance and all applicable State or federal laws or guidance (e.g., Job Training and Economic Development Grant Program, 20 ILCS 605/605-415; U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/state-and-local-fiscal-recovery-funds).  Grant applicants and Grantees shall review all application materials and grant award documents which will include the specific applicable requirements for the grant opportunity.  The Department reserves the right to suspend or terminate a grant agreement, recoup grant funds received under this Part or withhold any future year funding for non-compliance with the grant agreement provisions.


a)         Application Process


1)         The Department will post one or more Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on the GATA Grantee Portal (https://grants.illinois.gov/portal/) seeking applications from Eligible Entities contingent upon available funds.  The NOFO will describe in detail the types of projects for which funding is available (see Section 2660.40).  A single NOFO may seek applications from more than one type of project. Applicants shall submit their application materials by the deadlines set by the Department in the NOFO, which will be at least 30 days after the NOFO posting.


2)         As part of the application, applicants shall provide the following information about the proposed program:


A)        a description of the purpose of the grant program;


B)        a discussion of activities and eligible costs;


C)        a description of the Eligible Training Providers, including the instructional materials that directly tie to the specific industry sector of the partnership employers;


D)        a description of the roles in the program of local businesses, economic development organizations, industry associations, Local Workforce Innovation Boards, private nonprofits or other organizations, including, but not limited to, partnership agreements, assessing skill needs, curriculum development, the provision of training, placement of program completers into jobs, coordinating job retention and follow-up support;


E)        a description of who within the Target Population the program is expected to assist (e.g., unemployed, under-employed, or under-represented that have one or more barriers to employment) and how the applicant will determine program participant eligibility;


F)         a narrative description of the proposed training program, including, but not limited to, the target industries and occupations, the curriculum and the role of employers in the delivery of training;


G)        a description of any technical assistance to be provided by the applicant, if applicable;


H)        the specific activities and costs proposed for the grant;


I)         projected outcomes from grant activities including, but not limited to, a description of deliverable products, credentials earned, estimated jobs created or placed, wages earned, the number of low-income individuals and numbers by group identified in the Target Population to be trained and the likely effect training will have on their future earnings;


J)         a description of the qualifications of key personnel to be assigned to the project;


K)        a requested budget and supporting justification of the costs requested;


L)        whether the partner employers will provide an in-kind or cash match;


M)       a description of the employment barriers and needs of the local residents and how the project will meet these needs;


N)        a description of the priority workforce needs of the local industries, how these align with the State's WIOA Unified Plan, the regional and local level plans, the Department's Economic Development Plan and any in-demand industries required by the funding source or as set forth in the NOFO, and how the project will meet these needs; and


O)        a timeline for community outreach and enrollment of program participants.


3)         Applicants for training grants will be required to submit a work plan that sets forth the proposed roles in the grant program of local employers or industry associations in target industries. The work plan must include a description of the:


A)        involvement of local employers in identifying the specific skill needs;


B)        involvement of local employers in planning the curricula;


C)        use of instructional materials directly used by the local employers in the target industries;


D)        local employers' assistance in the training activities (e.g., participate as instructors or use employer equipment and technology); and


E)        the local employers' plans for hiring, retention or promotion of program participants, including unemployed and under-employed individuals, after receipt of training through the program.


b)         Grant Award Selection


1)         Grants will be awarded to Eligible Entities following a merit review of the applications as required by GATA (44 Ill. Adm. 7000.350) and the applicable funding source.  In evaluating applications, the Department will consider the following criteria:


A)        The application indicates the project will serve individuals who are within the Target Population;


B)        The applicant's grant performance history, including meeting the goals of any previous grants and the level of success in achieving employment, wage, and retention goals;


C)        The experience of the Eligible Entities in serving individuals who are in the Target Population;


D)        The level of participation of local employers or industry associations in the training partnership and the proposed work plan;


E)        The amount of matching funds (either cash or in-kind) provided by the local employers or industry associations;


F)         The likelihood that training will result in increased earnings for under-employed or under-represented individuals who are program participants;


G)        The likelihood that training will result in the placement of individuals who are in the Target Population into the specific occupations within the target industries and the average wage at placement;


H)        The credentials, licenses or certifications training participants will earn and the career pathways facilitating long-term advancement with the employer or within the industry sector a participant will gain;


I)         The qualifications of personnel assigned to the proposed project;


J)         The quality of the proposed curricula and related materials;


K)        The reasonableness of the proposed costs in relation to the number of individuals in the Target Population to be trained; and


L)        Any additional information to demonstrate or support the information submitted by the applicant for the proposed project.


2)         The Department shall give a priority to projects that include an in-kind match by an employer in partnership with an Eligible Entity and projects that use instructional materials and training instructors directly used in the specific industry sector of the partnership employer. 


3)         Participating employers should be active participants in identifying the skills needed for their jobs to ensure the training is appropriate for the Target Population.


4)         Eligible Entities shall assess the employment barriers and needs of local residents and work in partnership with designated one-stop operators within the Local Workforce Innovation Areas and local economic development organizations to identify the priority workforce needs of the local industries. These must align with the State's WIOA Unified Plan, the regional and local level plans, the Department's 5-year Economic Plan [20 ILCS 605-415(d)] and any in-demand industries required by the funding source.


5)         Eligible Entities shall work with local partners, including, but not limited to, local employers or industry associations in the target industries, Eligible Training Providers and social service and community-based organizations to design programs with maximum benefits to individuals in the local Target Population; and


6)         Employers must be involved in identifying specific skill-training needs, planning curriculum, assisting in training activities, providing job opportunities, and coordinating job retention for people hired after training through this program and follow-up support. [20 ILCS 605-415(d)]


c)         Grant Disbursements

Disbursement of grant funds from the Department will be made in accordance with a schedule included in the grant agreement. The Department will disburse funds based on the grantee making satisfactory progress to implement grant activities.


d)         Grant Performance, Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

Grantees shall comply with all State laws, as well as all GATA and Department requirements, that are set forth in the grant agreement for grant performance, administration, monitoring and reporting, including monitoring any subrecipients.


1)         Grant performance goals and performance and expenditure reporting will be based on the specific grant project activities of each grant award and will follow GATA requirements (44 Ill. Adm. Code 7000.410), which include periodic financial and performance reports at least quarterly, or as required by the applicable funding source, and financial and performance close-out reports after the end of the grant term (see 44 Ill. Adm. Code 7000.440).  The deadlines for all required reports will be set forth in the grant agreement.


2)         Grant audits shall be based on the standards set forth in the GATA requirements (44 Ill. Adm. Code 7000.90).


3)         Grantees must monitor their grant activities, and those of any subrecipients, to assure compliance with applicable State and federal requirements and to assure their performance expectations are being achieved.  The Department will monitor the activities of grantees to assure compliance with all requirements and performance expectations of the award.  Grantees shall timely submit all financial and performance reports, and shall supply, upon the Department's request, documents and information relevant to the award.  The Department may monitor activities through site visits.


e)         Grant Extensions

Contingent upon the availability of funds and consistent with GATA as applicable, the Department may negotiate grant extensions and add funds for grant projects that were originally competitively procured and performed successfully. 


f)         Records Retention

Grantees shall maintain, for the period of years set forth in the GATA rules (44 Ill. Adm. Code 430(a), (b)) and grant agreement, adequate books, all financial records and supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the Job Training and Economic Development Grant Program. If any litigation, claim or audit is started before the expiration of the retention period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims or audit exceptions involving the records have been resolved and final action taken. The applicable retention period will be dependent on the source of funding for the grant award. Grantees shall be responsible for ensuring that contractors and subrecipients comply with the retention requirements.