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Convergence…in another form June 22, 2006

Posted by Tom in Economic Development, Opinion, Workforce.
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I'm plowing through the emails and landed upon one that Kevin Thompson of the Employment and Training Administration forwarded right before I left for vacation:

Joyce Foundation Announces Shifting Gears Initiative; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin Eligible to Apply for Grants to Improve Education and Skills Training, Promote Economic Growth

The Joyce Foundation this week launched its "Shifting Gears" initiative, a three-year, $10 million effort to improve the education and skills training of the Midwest workforce and promote regional economic growth. As part of the initiative, the Foundation issued a request for proposals from Midwest states to provide stronger links between systems of education and job training, so that workers get postsecondary credentials that qualify them for jobs in today's economy.

Six Midwest states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin — are eligible to apply for planning and implementation grants, ranging up to $1 million, to enable them to coordinate the work of different agencies and programs.

Webinar for Applicant Questions: June 19, 2006
Letter of Intent Deadline:
July 24, 2006
Formal Proposal Deadline (invitation only):
August 25, 2006
Notification of Awards: December 2006
Funding Start: January 2007

Access to Request for Proposals

Not only does this project tie in well with the Convergence theme of looking at workforce development as a driver of economic development, it also opened up an ancillary line of thinking about the possibilities of government and the private/non-profit sectors aligning their efforts to achieve common goals. Should this "convergence" of public and private resources come to pass, you could see a fantastic amount of resources flowing to address critical workforce or economic development issues.

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