Application window is now open!
We are opening the application window for the Regional Workforce Impact Program. You will have until April 1st, 2024 to finish your application!
RWIP Webinar - November 7th
With the opening of the Regional Workforce Impact Program (RWIP) grant, we will be hosting a webinar where we will be going over the grant guidance and leaving time for Q&A. Please follow the link below to register for the webinar and share with others that are interested or have shown interest in application for the RWIP grant. This webinar will be recorded and put on the website in order for people who are unable to make the meeting the chance to view the webinar. We will also be placing the questions that were asked during the webinar into a link on the website with the answers to those questions.
Please review the grant guidance at the bottom of the webpage as you start to prepare your applications as each application will need to meet all of the requirements before it will be reviewed. Upon application open date, the application portal can be found below as well.
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 broad impact through a community or region. Funds may be provided as a resource to implement a long-term, sustainable solution to permanently mitigate workforce participation issues in a community or region. Single business solutions are not eligible.
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 applicants 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.
Collaboration to develop initiatives that address the region’s most pressing workforce challenges and impact various geographies and/or populations throughout the region representing both rural and urban is encouraged; however, it is not required. Each project will be submitted on its own application. A single application on behalf of the region is no longer required. 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.
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. Applicants are required to demonstrate 25% match for each project. Below is the breakout of maximum funding amount per region that have been updated per the first round of awards and the counties that are included in each region.
Region 1: $724,745
Region 2: $607,724
Region 3: $1,152,500
Region 4: $705,802
Region 5: $1,319,000
Region 6: $660,330
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 students and recent graduates. - cap of $250,000
- Retention - cap of $250,000.00
- Infrastructure investments that directly relate to the proposed workforce solution – cap of $500,000
- Infrastructure investments that expand a childcare center – cap of $500,000
- The childcare must be a center and cannot be home-based or in a site that can be repurposed for housing.
- Capital investments, capital purchases for new or renovated space to support the applicant’s proposed program must be able to show direct influence on the workforce solution- cap of $500,000.
Eligible applicants include 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.
- Childcare Centers
- 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 are eligible.
Application Period is now Open
Application and Review Timeline
Application Window: February 5th-April 1st
RWIP Review Window: April 2nd- April 19th
Notification of Decision: April 22nd
Applicants must review complete grant guidance prior to applying.