Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grants

Entrepreneurship education in the United States has always faced funding issues. Teachers each year need to find creative ways to fund in-class programs, along with extracurriculars at their school.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of these issues to the forefront. While we believe there is a lot of work to be done to make sure schools are funded for true success, the government is issuing various grant opportunities to keep CTE programs going.

One new source of funding is a grant associated with the CARES Act: The Reimagine Workforce Preparation grants. If you’re part of an Entrepreneurship or Business program, this grant is specifically for you.

What is a “Reimagine Workforce Preparation” grant?

The Reimagine Workforce Preparation program is a new funding source from the US Department of Education. There is a total of $127.5M in funding available, which will be broken down into eight or nine total awards of roughly $15M each.

Eligibility for this new grant is dependent on three key areas:

  1. Entrepreneurship Education: This area is absolute priority one. In order to qualify for the grant, schools or workforce programs must show that they are creating, developing, implementing, replicating, or taking to scale short-term educational programs and training courses or programs, and/or career pathways programs, including those focused on facilitating and strengthening entrepreneurship and small business ownership.

What are the key focus areas in Entrepreneurship Education?

  • Understanding the nature, role, and challenges of the entrepreneur;
  • Identifying and assessing opportunities for new business ventures;
  • Preparing a business plan and budgets and forecasting resource needs;
  • Understanding and anticipating financing requirements, including the use of capital and debt to finance a new business venture, the various strategies for attracting financing, and the trade-offs associated with each strategy;
  • Examining the various business structure options for a new business venture, and understanding the benefits and tradeoffs offered by available organizational forms for a new business venture;
  • Understanding and anticipating personnel needs for a new business venture;
  • Examining cost-effective technologies for a new business venture;
  • Understanding how effectively to market and advertise, including using social and digital media, a new business venture;
  • Examining common key legal issues experienced by new business ventures; and
  • Examining how to manage for the survival and growth of a new business venture
  1. Industry Recognized Certifications: This area is also absolute priority one. Programs must provide individuals the opportunity to earn badges, certifications, micro-credentials, licenses, or other credentials that employers affirmatively signal will contribute to qualifying a candidate for employment or promotion in an in-demand industry sector or occupation.
  2. Ability to Provide Distance Education: This area is competitive preference priority one. With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full-force in many states, it is crucial that the courses or programs be principally delivered through distance education.

Certiport’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) certification is a great resource that fits perfectly into the Reimagine Workforce Preparation grant program. The objective domains of the ESB certification map well with the grant’s definition of entrepreneurship and the official sponsorship by Intuit provides official industry recognition. Our learning products solutions from LearnKey and Moore Solutions allow for entrepreneurship training via distance learning, with the ESB certification as an end goal and industry recognized credential. Now the question is, how can you get the funding?

How do I apply?

The US Department of Education has stipulated which organizations are eligible to apply for this grant.

  1. State workforce boards
  2. Business and trade organizations
  3. Standards recognition agencies
  4. Institutions of higher education
  5. Third-party intermediaries who help employers design and implement work-based learning programs
  6. Other education and training providers

Detailed instructions on the application process can be found here. The U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education also put together a pre-application webinar, which discusses grant eligibility, application requirements and selection criteria, along with information about the application submission and review process. You can watch the recorded webinar here.

What are the deadlines?

Make sure to start working on your application as soon as possible. The submission deadline is August 24, 2020. Reach out to your Certiport Territory Manager for additional information you may need on your application.