The purpose of this NOFO is to request proposals from eligible organizations capable of implementing the priorities of Illinois’ Unified Workforce Plan and the Apprenticeship Committee. Illinois recognizes that apprenticeships is a proven work-based learning strategy to help individuals connect to a career pathway for many different occupations, yet few organizations have the knowledge and/or resources to build their own program. For Illinois to expand registered apprenticeship programs, the State must foster regional partnerships supported by intermediaries and navigators. This NOFO will fund the following activities:
1) Apprenticeship Intermediaries that support demonstration projects including the recruitment, program administration and/or sponsorship of pre-apprenticeship and/or registered apprenticeship programs,
Intermediaries administer the apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs, coordinates with employers to hire apprentices, facilitates the provision of classroom or on-line instruction, and ensures fulfillment of other components of the Illinois Apprenticeship Plus Framework. Some examples of successful intermediaries might include, but are not limited to, Industry Associations, Local Chambers of Commerce, Community-based organizations, Local Workforce Partners, and Educational institutions including secondary, two- and four-year post-secondary institutions, and technical schools AND/OR
2) Regional Navigators to support business outreach with employers and workforce professionals to expand the use of apprenticeship as a work-based learning strategy.
Regional Apprenticeship Navigators build capacity by developing and strengthening the knowledge, skills, abilities, processes, and resources that businesses, educational institutions, local workforce areas, and community partners need to create new or expand existing apprenticeship programs. This NOFO will fund Apprenticeship Navigators to implement a targeted approach to business engagement within Illinois’ 10 economic development regions.