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Walmart Foundation and IVMF Vocational Acceleration Grants

IVMF will seed, cultivate, and provide administrative oversight of grants to a network of workforce development-focused programs with colleges and universities. Projects are intended to be coordinated education and training interventions over a specified period of time to achieve measurable results including education and training, certification and/or licensure, and employment outcomes.

They will focus on programs positioned to advance the vocational situation of veterans and transitioning service members. These programs will be developed and delivered by a network of community and technical colleges (grantees), in partnership with local workforce development agencies, and business and industry collaborators. They will focus on ‘skills’ training, career development, and the application of practical, vocational knowledge delivered in the context of the contemporary employment landscape.

The underlying goal of the proposed grant program is to leverage vocational accelerators (skills, training, credentialing, etc.) conferred by workforce development-focused training and educational programs, to advance the employment situation of veterans. We define (generally) the objectives of such programs to be:
Enabling a veteran to transition from military service to civilian employment, or
Enabling a veteran to move from unemployment to employment, or
Enabling a veteran to move from under-employment to full-employment, or
Enabling a veteran to enter the supply chain in a region’s economic development landscape

While projects that have impact within one education organization, business, industry or community are eligible, this RFP places emphasis on initiatives that may or will have scalable regional or even statewide impact on veteran vocational education and placement into employment, and which form collaborations with multiple colleges, businesses, and industries.


With reductions in the size of the U.S. military, issues related to the transition of military personnel to civilian life have been at the height of public and political consciousness. Politicians, policymakers, and leading veteran voices espouse the importance of creating education and workforce development opportunities for the Post-9/11 generation of veterans designed to mitigate barriers to employment for veterans entering the civilian workforce. Importantly, the potential for important social and economic benefits associated with efforts to advance the vocational situation of veterans through education and training is real and compelling.

For example, a report prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published in 2011, highlights that military veterans are significantly more likely than their non-military counterparts to pursue vocations in engineering, engineering technology and computer sciences — fields of study that represent important national interests (but that are generally experiencing declining enrollments in the U.S.). Further, the NCES study also highlights that veterans are more likely than nonveterans to pursue advanced education. Such realities suggest a positive societal return on the public investment in veteran’s education and training programs, and foreshadow just some of ‘what is possible’ as a result of increasing access to vocationally focused education programs for veterans.

To these ends, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (“IVMF”) will review and evaluate those vocations identified by grant applicants and represented as ‘high demand, high growth,’ within the geographical target areas of California, New York, Texas, and North Carolina.

Given these ‘high demand, high growth’ vocational opportunities, the espoused focus of the grant program is to seed, cultivate, and leverage existing workforce development programs (new and/or existing) proposed and/or offered by universities or community and technical colleges, to provide skills, training, credentialing, practical experiences, apprenticeships, or other vocational accelerators to veterans and transitioning service members. Specifically we will select up to 10 programs to seed. Each will be evaluated for the number of people to be served in relation to the funding requested, and on the further collaborative determination of the exact target goals for improved program effectiveness and/or numbers of people served.

Listening Tour:

During early June, IVMF will host a national, virtual listening tour using the Google+ platform to hear from veterans and other targeted stakeholders to learn what is most necessary in each region and nationally. These will be open to participants from VSOs, workforce organizations, business and industry, or education institutions. These discussions will inform application invitations, and evaluations of Letters of Interest.

About the grant:

Application Deadline: June 28, 2013, 3 PM Eastern

Request for Proposals: 2013 Vocational Acceleration for Veterans Grants In partnership with the Walmart Foundation

Letters of interest requesting to participate are solicited from educational institutions and their partners in Texas, California, North Carolina, and New York by June 28, 2013. Selected organizations submitting letters of interest, and those targeted by IVMF, will be invited to submit full applications with a submission deadline of July 15, 2013 at 3 PM Eastern time. The application is limited to 5 pages of narrative, 2 pages of budget narrative, and 2 pages of line item budget items. (All applications must be completed with one inch margins, 11 or 12 point font, double spaced, for the program narrative and budget narrative, and one inch margins, single spaced, at least 10 point font, for the line item budget.) After application submission, IVMF may request additional information and responses from applicants, or may engage in discussion and negotiation with applicants.

Deadlines and Dates:

Announcement of Grant Competition: Week of May 21, 2013

Announcement of National Listening Tour Dates: May 30

National Listening Tour: Week of June 3

Announcement of Regional Listening Tour Dates: June 6

Regional Listening Tours: Week of June 10

RFP issued: June 14, 2013

Letter of Interest deadline: June 28, 2013 at 3 PM Eastern

Notice of invited applications: July 2, 2013

Invited applications submission deadline: July 15, 2013 at 3 PM Eastern

Reviews completed: August 2, 2013

Grants awarded: August 30, 2013 (informal notification during the month of August)

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