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Notice of Grant Opportunity Frequently Asked Questions

What type of grant is this, and who is eligible to apply for the Talent Networks grants?

This is a limited competitive grant program open to nonprofit organizations, industry associations, and post-secondary educational institutions in New Jersey.

Do I need to send you an electronic copy of my application?

No, you don’t have to send an electronic copy of your application, but all applicants must have an electronic version (MS Word/PDF/Excel) including all attachments of the proposal available upon request.

Besides sending questions to TNTechSupport@dol.nj.gov., will there be an opportunity for me to ask additional questions, or get more information on the grant being offered?

Yes. There will be a technical assistance webinar on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. To participate, you MUST send an email to register for the webinar by 3:00 p.m. on November 15, 2017 to TNTechSupport@dol.nj.gov. The webinar link will be emailed to you.

Do we have access to the industry sector assessment data?

Yes. Go to http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/pub/empecon/empeconomy_index.html, under Industry Cluster Focus, to access industry sector assessment data.

Our organization is a post-secondary educational institution and we want to co-apply with another college to obtain this grant. Is this allowed?

Yes, as long as you identify a lead agency in your grant proposal. The lead agency serves as the applicant of record and will serve as the legally recognized fiscal agent for the grant project and the single point of contact for LWD. The lead agency is responsible for overseeing the implementation of all aspects of the grant, including the project and spending plan, monitoring and reporting of the program, and fiscal management. The lead agency can agree to a sub-contract with another organization to allow for their involvement. This partnering should be clearly defined in the program narrative and budget documents and must be approved by LWD.

What are the requirements of submitting Financial Statements?

Applicants must demonstrate the lead agency’s capacity to administer the grant by submitting complete financial statements for the three most recently completed fiscal years. Public institutions of higher education are exempt from this requirement.

What is the length of training for the Strategic Partnership Academy and who is required to attend?

The Strategic Partnership Academy will provide intensive, mandatory 12-month training for Talent Network directors and key partners. Training will be scheduled at regular intervals over the course of 12-months and will assist in the mission of the Talent Network.

How are the Targeted Industry Partnerships formed and who should participate?

The Talent Network applicant will detail a strategy for recruitment and for ongoing engagement with businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, workforce organizations, and other stakeholders to participate in Targeted Industry Partnerships.

What are the required qualifications of the Talent Network Director and staff?

The applicant must provide the qualifications and experience of staff contributing to the activities of the Talent Network, including the Talent Network director. The Talent Network director must have experience working in the targeted industry. The director should have an understanding of the workforce pertaining to the industry sector. Applicants should explain how the experience and qualifications of the director and staff will translate into the successful performance of the Talent Network.

What are the requirements to establish a pilot program and how many pilot programs are required?

Pilot programs must meet the following five (5) cornerstones:

  • Connect to actively engaged businesses who are hiring
  • Connect to training which leads to an industry-valued credential and/or college credits
  • Link to an established career pathway or create a new career pathway
  • Provide work-based learning opportunities (e.g., internships, co-ops, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships)
  • Include the Talent Network in a consultancy role

In addition, the programs must be developed by the Targeted Industry Partnerships (TIP) and must be specific to the region of the state that they are developed. The programs must address the specific needs of the businesses in the region. Each TIP region should submit a minimum of three pilot programs. Deadlines for these submissions will be established by LWD.

Is it required to provide a detailed plan for the sustainability of the Talent Networks if there is an absence of LWD funding?

Yes, applicants are required to specify the preliminary plans to ensure sustainability of the targeted industry partnerships in the absence of funding from LWD.

Is it important to provide a detailed business engagement strategy?

Yes, as part of the proposal, applicants are required to submit a detailed strategy of how businesses will be engaged.

Is it required to detail in-kind contributions from my organization and also to identify leveraged resources from partners/funders?

Yes, applicants must demonstrate how their organization will support Talent Network programming with other resources including funds (financial, supplemental and in-kind contributions) leveraged from other sources. **The budget narrative should include a section on leveraged resources and in-kind contributions and should include the source or partner/funder entity whose support is contributing to the project, amount and use of funds.

What type of information must be included in the Executive Summary?

The Executive Summary must describe the Targeted Industry as well as the need to engage employers in an employer centered workforce strategy.

In regards to the industry sector information located on page 6: is it possible to have two areas of concentration?

Yes, you are able to apply for more than one Talent Network.

Is it optional or a requirement to have a sub-contractor?

Having a sub-contractor is an option, not a requirement.

Can a college be a sub-contractor?

Yes, a college can be a sub-contractor, but LWD must pre-approve all sub-contractors prior to entering into any contractual agreement with them.

If an organization already has linkage interviewing/hiring agreements in place, will a linkage agreement or letter of support serve as a reference letter (which is a requirement of the grant application)?

A reference letter is not a requirement for this grant, but a list of committed partners is the requirement. The list must include 5 employers, 3 references from a combination of educational institutions, community or faith based organizations, workforce development boards or industry associations or labor unions. The list must include contact names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

Can more than one Talent Network grant awardee be working in the same industry sector and in the same geographic region as another Talent Network awardee if each is serving a different demographic and working with different business partners?

No, only one award is granted per industry sector with the exception of Retail, Hospitality & Tourism, where one award is made for the north region and one award is made for the south region of the state.

Can award funds be utilized to support direct services and technical training and certification programs developed for the grant and delivered by the awardee?

Award funds can only be utilized in accordance with meeting the grant deliverables as specified in section 3.1 of the Talent Networks Updated NGO. The anticipated use of award funds must be listed in the budget narrative. The budget narrative should clearly and accurately align and be consistent with activities outlined in the program narrative. Applicants must provide a complete and thorough explanation of each cost category submitted in the budget abstract which should include direct financial contributions the organization brings to the project and how the grant and matching funding is tied to the program design and vision. Applicants must provide justification for all aspects of the budget.