Web Content Viewer
Actions

Program Guidelines

In consultation with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Development Services Agency (“Development”) will administer the Industry Sector Partnership Grant, including partnership applications, monitoring/compliance and grant disbursement. The competitive grant program will help fund collaborative efforts between local businesses, education and training providers, and community stakeholders that are invested in improving their region’s workforce. The goal of the Grant is to increase collaboration to benefit Ohio residents and Ohio job creators. Industry sector partnerships design and implement workforce strategies for specific sectors and individual regions.

The Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant is open to applications from both existing and emerging partnerships. To be eligible to apply for funding, an industry sector partnership must:

  • Include multiple private-sector employers focused on common workforce-related goals;
  • Be led by the business community;
  • Have a regional and/or industry-specific focus by:
    • Focusing on a single industry sector, or a set of industry sectors with shared workforce challenges; and/or
    • Concentrating within a single region or laborshed.

Total Funding Available

Development may award up to $2,453,750 in fiscal year 2022.

Application Due Date

To be considered, all applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Fundable Activities

In Ohio’s diverse and dynamic economy, workforce challenges are unique to each industry and region of the state. Each industry sector partnership strategy should be business-led and locally driven. Examples of activities that Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant funding can be used towards include:

  • Combining resources with other industry sector partnerships, regional organizations, or statewide industry groups to accomplish shared workforce related goals;
  • Planning, developing, and executing convenings where business and education collaborate on workforce issues;
  • Development of curriculum or educational resources that support the industry sector partnership;
  • Outreach to increase awareness and interest in careers in the participating focus industry;
  • Marketing the industry sector partnership and associated educational and career opportunities in the focus industry; 
  • Developing online tools and technological resources;
  • Supporting attraction and development of qualified educators and instructors;
  • Benchmarking workforce best practices and aligning efforts with related regional, state, and national initiatives;
  • Administrative costs of up to 50% of state funds; and/or
  • Any additional partnership activities outlined in a proposal and approved by Development Services Agency.

Required Partnership Members

The Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant is open to applications from new or existing multi-partner consortia, or regional sector partnerships, that include two or more private-sector employers and at least two or more of the following:

  • A city, local, or exempted village school district, community school, STEM school, or joint vocational school district;
  • A state institution of higher education;
  • An Ohio Technical Center;
  • An independent college or university;
  • An Educational Service Center;
  • An OhioMeansJobs Center;
  • A nonprofit organization specializing in workforce training; or
  • An economic development organization.

Partnerships may include other types of entities, including but not limited to:

  • The state or a local government;
  • A state board or local board;
  • A county Department of Job and Family Services;
  • A business, trade or industry association;
  • A charitable organization;
  • A nonprofit or community-based organization or intermediary; or
  • The Ohio State University Extension Division or Central State University Extension Program.

Lead Applicant and Fiscal Agent

Each multi-partner consortium submitting an application will identify a lead applicant and fiscal agent for the industry sector partnership. The lead applicant may be the industry sector partnership organization or any member of the consortium. The lead applicant may also serve as the fiscal agent for the partnership or may identify a member of the consortium or third-party to serve as the fiscal agent.

Award Amounts and Required Matching Funds:

Applicants for the Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant may choose to apply to either the Spark Grant or the Accelerant Grant.

Spark Grant

The Spark Grant is designed to provide “seed funding” for emerging sector partnerships to fund startup activities and become self-sustaining.


Minimum Award: $50,000
Maximum Award: $100,000

Each awarded lead applicant or fiscal agent will receive 50% of the total award immediately upon notice of award. The remaining 50% of the award will be available as a two to one (2:1) match for funds raised ($2 of grant award for every $1 raised).

Industry sector partnerships are encouraged to raise funds from businesses, community organizations, foundations, and other funding sources. The Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant does not restrict the manner in which matching funds derived from other sources are utilized. Documentation of investment will be required for Development to release funds. Funding examples below.

Spark Grant
Total Award Amount Available Immediately (Seed Funding) Required Match Amount Available After Submission of Match Documentation*
$100,000 $50,000 $25,000 $50,000
$75,000 $37,500 $18,750 $37,500
$50,000 $25,000 $12,500 $25,000

Accelerant Grant

The Accelerant Grant is designed to invigorate the work being done by existing sector partnerships, expanding both reach and impact.

Minimum Award: $50,000
Maximum Award: $250,000

All funds will be available to the lead applicant or fiscal agent as a two to one (2:1) match for funds raised ($2 of grant award for every $1 raised).

Industry sector partnerships are encouraged to raise funds from businesses, community organizations, foundations, and other funding sources. The Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant does not restrict the manner in which matching funds derived from other sources are utilized. Documentation of investment will be required for Development to release funds. Funding examples below.

Accelerant Grant
Total Award Required Match Amount Available After Submission of Match Documentation*
$250,000 $125,000 $250,000
$200,000 $100,000 $200,000
$150,000 $75,000 $150,000

*Partnerships may submit proof of matching funds once per month to receive incremental disbursements.

Eligible Matching Funds:

To qualify, matching funds must be provided by an organization outside of the lead applicant and fiscal agent. Only matching funds received after October 1, 2021 will be eligible. Proof of matching funds may be submitted to Development once per month and can include:

  • Cash funds raised;
  • Equipment costs, including computers, training equipment, software, subscriptions, and other items directly related to partnership operations; and/or
  • Facility costs including acquisition, rent, utilities, and other costs incurred directly related to partnership operations.

The following do not qualify as matching funds:

  • Salaries and fringe benefits provided in-kind by the lead applicant, fiscal agent or partnership member organizations;
  • Salaries and fringe benefits paid by the lead applicant, fiscal agent or partnership member organizations to training or educational program participants; and
  • Funding granted through other programs administered by Development.

Cost Limitations:

A maximum of 50% of the total grant awards can be allocated towards administrative costs, which includes salary and fringe for partnership staff. The Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant does not restrict the manner in which matching funds derived from other sources are utilized.

Award Period:

The award period for the grant will be 18 months from the effective award date. All matching fund documentation must be submitted to Development by the end of the award period. Grant funds remaining unspent by the end of the award period will be returned to Development.

Reporting:

To facilitate a network of shared best practices among industry sector partnerships, each awarded lead applicant will be required to participate in quarterly convenings. Three of the quarterly convenings will occur virtually and the other will be hosted in-person by the Office of Workforce Transformation. Each awarded lead applicant will be required to submit quarterly updates of key activities and accomplishments and an annual report with qualitative and quantitative results. Updates and reports will be focused on:

  • Matching funds raised;
  • Business participation and leadership;
  • Collaboration among education, training providers, and other organizations;
  • Number of partners contributing to and receiving benefits from the partnership; and
  • A minimum of three locally developed deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) submitted in the application.

Appendix A – Application Summary and Rubric

Applicants must provide qualifying responses to the following for their application to be scored. Applications that fail to provide qualifying responses to ANY of the following will be disqualified and the application will not be scored:

  • Name of industry sector partnership.
  • Name of lead applicant/fiscal agent.
  1. Describe the lead applicant’s track record of fiscal responsibility and stewardship.
  2. Describe how the lead applicant will ensure that the strategy and activities of the partnership will be led by the collective voice of the employer-members.
  3. Identify the partnership’s focus industry sector(s):
    • If the partnership is focusing on multiple industry sectors, explain the relationship and shared workforce challenges that necessitate combining efforts
  4. Attach proposed budget using template


Applications will be assigned weighted scores based upon responses to the following:

Field

Weight

5A. Many communities in Ohio have created sector partnerships. Describe the process your partnership has undergone to understand sector partnerships in your focus industry across the state.

2

5B.  Many communities in Ohio have created sector partnerships. Describe the process your partnership has undergone to understand
sector partnerships in your region of the state in all industries.

6. Describe how your partnership will leverage and add value to other existing or newly forming sector partnerships.

7.5

7. Identify how the partnerships will align existing programs and activities that are currently operating independently to the benefit of Ohioans.

7.5

8. Identify counties covered by industry sector partnership. If applicable, explain how the identified region represents the laborshed for the focus industry sector.

1

9. In a prioritized order, identify the top 3 to 5 focus occupations of the industry sector partnership.

5

14A. Describe the partnership’s plan for tracking activities and performing quantitative reporting.

5

14B. Describe the partnership’s plan for tracking activities and performing qualitative reporting.

15. Attach letters of support and commitment to contribute from businesses. Do not use form letters. Each letter must be unique and describe in detail how the business will specifically support this plan. (Scan and upload all letters of support for this question as a single PDF document. Do not upload letters that do not relate to this question.)

5

16. Attach letters of support from education and/or training entities, Workforce Development Boards, OhioMeansJobs Centers, local economic development organizations and/or K-12 Business Advisory Councils (Ohio Revised Code 3313.82). Do not use form letters. Each letter must be unique and describe in detail how the agency or organization will specifically support this plan. (Scan and upload all letters of support for this question as a single PDF document. Do not upload letters that do not relate to this question.)

5

Total Points Available

100

17. Attach a list detailing the member composition of the Industry Sector Partnership. Please upload this document as an Excel attachment.