Application period will be opening soon!
Please review the grant guidance at the bottom of the webpage and click on the link below to fill out our public comment survey. Please be as descriptive as possible as the comments will be reviewed and taken into consideration while we finalize the grant guidance.
The Department of Commerce received an appropriation from the 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly to provide support to organizations addressing workforce challenges and barriers to employment through the ND Regional Workforce Impact Program (RWIP). The RWIP provides grants to regional workforce entities in North Dakota to design and implement innovative plans to address their region’s most demanding workforce challenges. The grant program is designed to encourage regions and communities to develop sustainable, innovative solutions to help businesses find workers, and help workers and jobseekers connect to jobs and communities. The RWIP grant aims to support the cost of local solutions that will have a regional impact. Funds may be provided as a resource to implement a long-term solution to permanently mitigate workforce participation issues.
The goal of the Regional Workforce Impact Program is to empower locally led solutions to one of the state’s greatest challenges. Workforce needs vary by region throughout North Dakota, so a one size fits all approach is unrealistic and would not adequately address challenges in all parts of the state. By creating a regional funding mechanism to support workforce initiatives, local and regional partners have the opportunity to articulate their needs and the ability to access funding to address them. The Department of Commerce aims to increase participation in the workforce statewide by equipping communities with resources to invest in initiatives that are catered to the needs of their region.
An application’s proposed solution must address the region’s most immediate workforce challenges. This program will assist regional partners in funding workforce initiatives that promote economic stability and prosperity by addressing workforce challenges. The Department of Commerce encourages utilizing new and existing collaborations of regional partners to leverage resources that foster the development of partnerships to implement sustainable workforce development solutions.
Partners within each region representing both rural and urban populations should work together and submit one application that includes projects that will address the region’s most pressing workforce challenges and impact various geographies and/or populations throughout the region. Applicants must be able to articulate the greatest impact possible to the region as a whole. Please note that regions are defined as the eight planning regions, although the impact of a project may extend beyond a region’s borders.
Before submitting an application, each region must identify the Lead Regional Applicant. The Lead Regional Applicant will act as a review team that will receive all of the region's applications, review them, and decide which projects that fit within the region’s scope and within the intent of the grant that the region will move forward with and request grant award. There is no financial benefit or obligation for the Lead Regional Applicant and because they will be reviewing the applications, they will not be eligible for grant award. Once the grants are awarded there will be no administrative requirements for the Lead Regional Applicant, unless there a proposal is denied, and the region is able to submit a new project in its place.
Once a region has chosen the Lead Regional Applicant, they must submit the organization name and point of contact information via email to Evan Moser. This person will become the main contact for the region.
The Lead Regional Applicant must ensure that all communities in the region have an opportunity to submit projects for consideration in the regional application. Partners within each region representing both rural and urban populations should work together and submit one application that includes projects that will address the region’s most pressing workforce challenges and impact various geographies and/or populations throughout the region. Applicants must be able to articulate the greatest impact possible to the region as a whole. Please note that regions are defined as the eight planning regions. Only one application per region will be accepted.
To ensure equitable access to these grant dollars, a portion of funding is reserved for each of the eight planning regions based on population as provided by the 2020 decennial US Census. Funding is based on region population. Applicants are required to demonstrate 25% match for each separate project within the application. Below is the breakout of maximum funding amount per region and the counties that are included in each region. Below is the breakout of funding available per region and the counties that are included in each region.
Region 1: $1,313,000
Region 2: $1,566,000
Region 3: $1,215,000
Region 4: $1,535,000
Region 5: $2,319,000
Region 6: $1,319,000
Region 7: $1,957,500
Region 8: $1,275,500
To qualify, proposals must fall under at least one of the following categories:
- Talent attraction marketing and locally implemented strategies for business, industry, and communities that leverages existing statewide assets like Find the Good Life platform and pipeline to recruit employees nationwide and retain out of state students and recent graduates
- Infrastructure investments that directly contribute to expanding access to job training, employment opportunities and workforce support
- Capital investments, capital purchases for new or renovated space to support the applicant’s proposed program- cap of $500,000
Applications will be submitted by each project applicant entity to their Regional Council contact/Lead Regional Applicant. The Lead Regional Applicant will upload applications per instructions provided directly.
- Eligible applications can be submitted by the following types of North Dakota-based organizations:
- Economic Development Organizations
- Cities (must be incorporated)
- Chambers of Commerce
- Job Development Authorities
- Tribal Entities
- Regional Councils
- Other organizations addressing local or regional economic development needs.
- Projects and populations impacted must be in North Dakota.
- Enhancements to projects previously funded by RWIP and in one of the qualified categories stated above.
Application period will be opening soon!
Applicants must review complete grant guidance prior to applying.