Government Affairs Roundup
“Your Timely Roundup of Local, State, and Federal Updates”

Chamber members:

Looks like we’ve avoided a government shutdown – that is certainly welcome news. Make sure you read this to the bottom to see a long list of grants that are available on both the state and federal side.  These opportunities keep coming out so make sure you apply for what is applicable. Thanks to Rep. Walsh Jr.’s office for the share.

*Government Affairs Roundup brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital*

House sends bill to Biden to avert government shutdown
The House on Thursday passed legislation to prevent a government shutdown with only hours to spare before the midnight deadline, albeit without any measure to avert a debt default in a few weeks.

Lawmakers voted 254-175 to send the bill, which keeps the federal government funded through Dec. 3, to President Biden for his signature. Thirty-four Republicans voted with all Democrats in support of the bill.

The House last week passed the same bill along party lines, but with a provision that suspended the debt limit until mid-December of next year.
The Senate failed to advance the original House-passed bill on Monday due to Republicans’ insistence that they will not vote to prevent a debt default, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said could happen after Oct. 18 if Congress doesn’t act in time.

Faced with the prospect of a government shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats ultimately opted to detach the debt limit suspension from the government funding bill. The Senate voted 65-35 earlier Thursday afternoon to send the stopgap government funding bill back to the House without any provision to address the debt limit.

“This bill is not a permanent solution. I look forward to soon beginning negotiations with my counterparts across the aisle and across the Capitol to complete full-year government funding bills that reverse decades of disinvestment,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

The bill also includes $28.6 billion to provide localities with assistance to recover from recent natural disasters, including recent hurricanes and wildfires, as well as $6.3 billion for Afghan refugee resettlement efforts.

Republicans are calling on Democrats to prevent a debt default by using the budget reconciliation process, which is the same procedural route planned for the party’s “human infrastructure” package to expand social safety net programs like paid family leave and childcare.

Unlike almost every other bill that reaches the Senate floor, legislation considered under budget reconciliation is exempt from the filibuster that requires at least 60 votes to advance. Democrats also took advantage of budget reconciliation earlier this year to get Biden’s COVID-19 relief package through Congress without needing GOP support.

“Senate Republicans have been totally transparent. We’ve given Democrats a step-by-step guide to governing in this environment and months of advance notice to get it done,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated Thursday.

But Democrats warn that using the reconciliation process to prevent a debt default — which historically has been addressed with bipartisan support through regular order — is an unnecessarily complex and time-consuming process that might not be ready before the Oct. 18 deadline.

Using the reconciliation process to address the debt limit would require additional action in committees, ping-ponging the bill between the two chambers and lengthy voting sessions in the Senate known as a “vote-a-rama” in which senators can offer unlimited amendments.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have insisted that using reconciliation isn’t a realistic option. “We cannot afford the risk of a drawn-out, unpredictable process sought by the minority leader, which could very well actually cause a default,” Schumer said.

It’s not clear what other options Democrats will pursue. The House passed a standalone bill largely along party lines on Wednesday to suspend the debt limit through mid-December 2022, but it’s expected to run into the same GOP stonewall in the Senate. Raising or suspending the debt limit allows the Treasury Department to generate more cash to pay off existing obligations already enacted by lawmakers.

Manchin says his spending limit is $1.5 trillion
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced Thursday that his top-line spending number for the budget reconciliation package is $1.5 trillion, far below the $3.5 trillion spending goal set by the budget resolution that he and every other Senate Democrat voted for last month.

“My top-line has been $1.5 [trillion],” he said, explaining that he doesn’t want “to change our whole society to an entitlement mentality.” Manchin also said that he had shared his figure with President Biden.

The statements from Manchin to a crowd of reporters outside the Capitol comes on a pivotal day for Biden’s legislative agenda. The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill backed by Manchin that passed the Senate, but progressives have threatened to vote against it unless a separate social spending measure is moved in tandem. Progressives say the floor for that larger bill should be $3.5 trillion, far more than Manchin’s proposed $1.5 trillion top-line figure.

The larger bill is being crafted under budget reconciliation rules that prevent Republicans from filibustering the measure in the Senate. But that also effectively hands veto power to any Democratic senator who wants to oppose it. Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have been under pressure from progressives to make clear what they can agree to in terms of the social spending bill.

With his comments Thursday, Manchin took a solid step toward doing so, but also gave a public glimpse at how far apart Democrats are to reaching a deal that has the votes to pass the House and Senate. It also endangers the infrastructure bill, as progressives fear that if that bill is approved, it could take away leverage to get Manchin and Sinema to back the social spending measure.

Manchin confirmed that he signed a memorandum of understanding with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the end of July setting $1.5 trillion as his spending limit for Biden’s social spending measure and explained he did so as a precondition for voting for the Senate budget resolution in August.

“I didn’t think any of this was needed at this time. I thought the infrastructure bill was really what was needed but I said fine, this is a condition I would get to and that was a $1.5 [trillion package],” he said.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the other Senate Democratic moderate holding up negotiations over the size of the reconciliation package, issued a statement after Manchin’s press conference declaring her opposition to a $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package.

“Sen. Sinema said publicly more than two months ago, before Senate passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that she would not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion,” she said in a statement posted on Twitter. “In August, she shared detailed concerns and priorities, including dollar figures, directly with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and the White House.”

Manchin said he agreed to vote for the budget resolution with the $3.5 trillion spending target because he didn’t want to be “a fly in the ointment.”

“At that point in time I was not in favor of moving on this type of piece of legislation. I wasn’t trying to be the fly in the ointment at all,” he said, explaining his reluctance to agree to setting up a path for a massive reconciliation bill before the Senate moved to the budget resolution, which needed the vote of every single Democratic senator to pass. He expressed surprise that his top-line spending demand hadn’t leaked early and said he was mystified by repeated claims that he wasn’t putting out a top-line number in negotiations.

While Schumer knew about Manchin’s top-line spending limit in July, it was a closely held secret. Moments before Manchin publicly revealed his position, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told a CNN reporter outside the Judiciary Committee hearing room, “I want to know what Joe’s number is.”

Manchin said he wanted to be a team player at the time the Senate debated the budget resolution, but revealed he always had misgivings about spending another several trillion dollars after the Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March and the Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in August.

“I’ve never been a liberal in any way, shape or … form. No one ever thought I was. I’ve been governor, I’ve been secretary of state, I’ve been state legislator, I’ve been U.S. senator and I have voted pretty consistently my whole life,” he said.

Manchin’s position is sure to anger progressive Democrats who expected him to agree to passing a multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation bill if they voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which he crafted with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), senior White House officials and moderate Senate Republicans.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a leading Senate progressive, suggested on Thursday that’s Manchin’s spending goal would not be high enough to pay for all of the priorities in Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

“What we’ve all talked about as Democrats are the things we need to get done and we need to do that with a realistic price tag,” she said. “We are all Democrats and we know what we need to get done. Everything on that list is something we all [want.]” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said of Manchin’s $1.5 trillion top line: “It’s problematic but we’ll see where it goes.”

Infrastructure Vote Might Happen Today
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pressing ahead with her plan to stage a Thursday vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, brushing aside threats from liberals vowing to sink the proposal and expressing confidence it will pass. “We’re on a path to win the vote,” Pelosi said. “I don’t want to even consider any options other than that.”

Why it will likely fail: Progressives are threatening to vote against it because this vote is not paired with the greater social spending bill they want.  So, why would they going ahead with the vote knowing it could fail?: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised centrist Democrats a vote on this bill.  So, leadership is left between a rock and a hard place: The liberal threat has left Pelosi and Democratic leaders confronting two unpleasant scenarios heading into Thursday’s vote: either stick with the plan to bring the infrastructure bill to the floor, where liberals are likely to kill it, or delay it again, and infuriate the moderates.

Will County Board Map Options
The Will County Board is seeking public input on the proposed county board district maps which must be redrawn every ten years following the federal census. Two draft maps are available for public review ahead of the October 21st County Board meeting where a final map will be approved. One map was recommended by the Board reapportionment committee and the other was presented by County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

“A strong democracy requires active participation by the public and we want Will County residents to offer comments on our two proposed County Board district maps,” said Will County Board Speaker Mimi Cowan of Naperville. “Residents can review maps at various physical locations through the county, or online, and submit written comments via email or provide comments at the October 4th public hearing.”

County Board Map:

County Executive Map:

Will County is currently divided into 13 districts represented by two county board members each. A bipartisan committee was charged with drawing an updated map. This process occurs every ten years and reflects shifts in population after the federal census was taken. The reapportionment committee reviewed demographics, housing stock, roadways and more to draw balanced districts that reflect constituent blocks with similar interests.

Pritzker makes his play for electric vehicle business
A major push has begun in Springfield to lure investment from the fast-growing electric vehicle business with significant new financial incentives and other aid. An initial bill was filed Monday evening by state Rep. Dave Vella, a Democrat from Loves Park whose district is just west of Stellantis’ huge Belvedere plant. Tens of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs potentially are on the table.

Even bigger and more comprehensive plans are being developed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose government has been in touch with major producers and suppliers and expects to run a bill in the Legislature’s fall veto session in mid-October.

The move to boost Illinois’ presence in a burgeoning industry comes as major auto producers quickly pivot from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to electric cars and trucks. For instance, only yesterday, Ford announced plans for $5.6 billion in new electric battery and auto-assembly plants in Tennessee, with that state reportedly offering $500 million in tax breaks. “The governor’s goal is to build an eco-system, not only to build vehicles but the supply chain,” said one senior administration official. “The governor repeatedly has said this is a key area for us.”

Crain’s previously reported that activity was under way in hopes of convincing Samsung to build a massive battery factory next to electric producer Rivian’s plans in Normal. Industry sources say that plant could employ as many as 7,500 people, and while Pritzker aides decline to even mention Samsung’s name they confirm that there have been several new developments.

The first is Vella’s bill, which would expand and amplify the state’s existing Edge payroll tax credit program by allowing electric-vehicle producers and suppliers to retain not only their own state income-tax payments but withholding from employee pay checks.

Specifically, any firm that invests at least $100 million in and adds or retains at least 1,000 full-time jobs at an electric-vehicle producer would get tax credits for construction costs, job training and utility charges. The credits could cover up to 100% of withholding and be refundable.

Vella said he did not directly discuss his proposal with Stellantis but said the firm “in general terms” let him know that it would need state aid if it were to convert its current plant to production of electric vehicles, say a battery-powered Jeep Cherokee.  “This is a first opening bill,” Vella said in an interview. “We want to move Illinois into a position of being a production center. We want start some discussion about how to do that.”

Vella declined to put a specific number on the size of the aide or number of jobs at stake. But the former easily could run to tens of millions of dollars and adding two more shifts at Stellantis’ plant could boost employment from 1,800 now to 5,000, he said.

If Illinois acts quickly enough now, any new or revamped plants and their work “will not be easily exported,” Vella added, saying his bill is a logical extension of the green-energy package that lawmakers approved a few weeks ago.

The administration has talked to Ford about potentially assembling electric Explorers at its South Side plant, as well as Stellantis and other producers. It also has begun coordinating with academic researchers, some of them at Argonne National Lab, which has developed an expertise in work developing better batteries.

Officials say they don’t yet know what will be in the governor’s package. But among items being discussed are lengthening the Edge tax credit period from 10 years to 20 years and building some sort of temporary relief from local property taxes

An incentive package of that size potentially could run into some objections from liberal Democrats, depending on how many jobs are involved and how many of them are unionized. But it also could pull in some Republican votes, too.

The veto session is scheduled to open on Oct. 19 and continue for six days over two weeks.

Gov. Pritzker Announces First $24 Million in Back to Business Grants to Support Small Businesses
Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the first grants have been awarded through the Back to Business (B2B) recovery program. To help businesses facing acute operational impacts due to COVID-19, 521 grants totaling more than $24 million have been provided to small businesses in 146 cities across the state. The first wave of funds provided through this program support an array of diverse businesses representing industries and geographies hardest hit by the pandemic, and with more than half of the grants provided to minority-owned businesses across Illinois.

Overall, the B2B program allocates $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for small businesses experiencing COVID-19 losses, and grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply before the October 13 deadline by visiting the DCEO website.

“I am excited to announce the first $24 million in Back to Business grants – just the beginning of our efforts to distribute over $250 million to small business owners across the state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This first wave of B2B funds will help over 500 of our state’s entrepreneurs rehire staff and cover operating costs – without owing a single cent back. And as Illinois rebuilds and recovers, we will continue to step up for our small businesses. They deserve to breathe easier and dream bigger – it’s our mission to deliver the funds and resources they need to do so.”

“These grants will be the bridge to economic stability for many of these wonderful businesses that are the backbone of our state’s economy and provide jobs and a positive presence in so many communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton.

To help restore operational losses incurred during the pandemic, the B2B program will provide grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $150,000, commensurate with losses experienced. The administration will continue to accept applications for B2B grants through October 13, 2021.

“To help the most vulnerable small businesses in Illinois recover from the pandemic, our Back to Business (B2B) program provides grants to assist with operational costs like payroll, rent, and working capital,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership – we are working to accelerate the recovery of small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and a pathway to economic opportunity for so many Illinoisans.  For any businesses out there who have yet to receive or who are still in need of assistance –the State of Illinois and our partners stand ready to help you apply for these funds before the October 13 deadline – awards are being made on a rolling basis, so don’t wait, apply today.”

The first wave of funds announced today has reached businesses that are most in need of support due to the pandemic. The breakdown of the grants made thus far includes:

• 81 percent of funds provided for businesses which applied to the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, but did not receive funding
• 71 percent to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income zip codes that experienced high rates of COVID-19
• 66 percent to hard-hit industries, including restaurants and taverns, hotels, arts organizations, and salons
• Funds have primarily gone to the smallest businesses

o 54 percent going to businesses with revenue under $500,000 in 2019
o 74 percent going to businesses with revenue under $1 million

Building on efforts to shape an equitable recovery, of B2B funds deployed thus far, more than half have gone to minority-owned businesses. This includes 17 percent of grants made to Black owned businesses, 12 percent to Latinx owned businesses, 21 percent to Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) owned businesses, and 1.2 percent to multiracial and/or Native American owned businesses. On average, recipients of B2B grants experienced revenue declines of 39 percent last year.

To make B2B grants more accessible to the most vulnerable businesses, DCEO has invested $9 million in a comprehensive outreach model leveraging support from over 100 trusted, local organizations – “community navigators” performing outreach and technical assistance with applications. To date, DCEO and the community navigators have conducted direct outreach to more than 125,000 unique businesses and have hosted hundreds of virtual and in-person canvass events. To find a community navigator near you, please visit the DCEO website.

The B2B program includes set asides for hard hit sectors, DIAs, as well as for businesses which have yet to receive small business relief – as required in statute set forth by the Illinois General Assembly. While many business types and industries may apply for B2B, businesses in the following sectors will be prioritized: restaurants and taverns, hotels, arts businesses and organizations, and more.

Businesses with revenues of $5 million or less as well as those who did not receive an award during the BIG program also receive preference during the review period, with $25 million set aside for businesses which applied but did not receive funding through that program. Additionally, businesses located within DIAs, are being prioritized, with more than $100 million in funds set aside for these zip codes.

DCEO and its grant administrator partner, Allies for Community Business (A4CB) will make awards on a rolling basis, according to priority criteria mentioned above. To help businesses apply, A4CB has launched a new and easy-to-use customer portal, allowing applicants to track and learn updates on their application status in real-time.

To be considered for a grant, applicants must demonstrate a reduction in revenue in 2020, compared to 2019, and annual revenues of no more than $20 million in 2019.  Businesses must also provide two bank statements, a business owner ID, and federal tax returns for 2019 and 2020.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Pritzker administration has efficiently granted relief for businesses and communities hit hardest during the pandemic. B2B builds on the success of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) small business emergency relief program from earlier this year, which provided $290 million to more than 9,000 businesses in 98 counties statewide. The largest of its kind economic support program at the time, the BIG program also provided more than 4,000 childcare business provider grants. In total, the state’s childcare and other small business relief grants will provide more than $1.5 billion to childcare providers, bars and restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, and other hard-hit small businesses across the state.

For more information on the B2B program, or for assistance with the application, please visit DCEO’s website.

Grant and Program Information
Please see below for updates on grants, including the new Job Training and Economic Development (JTED) program. This is a fantastic grant opportunity for jobseekers and employers to improve skills.  A key part of this program is the barrier reduction funding to cover emergency costs that would otherwise be a roadblock to completing a program.

State Grants

NEW! Job Training and Economic Development (JTED) Program
What:  JTED provides an opportunity to provide innovative, employer-driven training approaches that pair education and occupational training with work-based learning to support regional and local economic development for businesses and individuals most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Through the JTED program, DCEO will connect the unemployed, underemployed, and underrepresented with employers in need of a skilled workforce or upskill existing workers by providing funding for accessible equity-driven services to those in disadvantaged communities. Applicants may choose to apply for funding that will support one or more of the following four categories:
(1) Jobseekers and those needing occupational training,
(2) Employers seeking to upskill their workforce,
(3) Youth-focused career development and work-based learning, and
(4) Increasing stability and retention utilizing a Barrier Reduction Fund for emergency basic needs.
Target industries include but are not limited to manufacturing, healthcare, arts and entertainment, waste management, retail, IT and TDL. Priority will be given to small and medium-sized minority-owned companies. All applicants will need to show how their program will provide services to target populations, including under-represented and low-income individuals in Qualified Census Tracts and Disproportionately Impacted Areas.
Potential Applicants: Employers, non-profits, federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) administrative entities, and public or private educational institutions that have demonstrated expertise and effectiveness in administering workforce development programs. Local governments that are not WIOA administrative entities are not eligible to apply.
How Much: $20 million total: minimum grant size of $500,000 and maximum grant being $750,000.
Deadline: October 29th, 2021 at 5pm
Apply: NOFO can be found here:

NEW! Rebuild Downtowns & Main Streets Capital Grant
What:  The Rebuild Downtowns & Main Streets Capital Grant Program will provide grants to support improvements and encourage investment in commercial corridors and downtowns that have experienced disinvestment, particularly in communities hardest-hit by the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. Projects must be located in a commercial corridor or downtown area with multiple public-facing commercial establishments. Eligible projects include but are not limited to roads, parking, and sidewalks; transit, pedestrian, or bicycle infrastructure; broadband infrastructure; water/sewer infrastructure; public spaces, such as parks and plazas; structures in disrepair; and mixed-use or transit-oriented development.
Potential Applicants: Units of local government (no match required). Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible but must include 50% match. Priority will be given to projects in DIAs, Opportunity Zones, and Qualified Census Tracts.
How Much: $50 million total: minimum grant size of $250,000 and maximum grant being $3 million.
Deadline: January 10th, 2022
Apply: NOFO can be found here:

Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant Program
What: The Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program will help develop new or enhance existing tourism attractions located across the state – including but not limited to museums, businesses, events, performances, and festivals. The funds may be utilized for capital projects, equipment, training, transportation, housing, receptions, entertainment, photography, temporary housing, and interpretive programs.  The goal of the program is to attract additional visitors and overnight stays that will bring foot traffic back in communities across Illinois.
Potential Applicants: Units of local government, municipalities, counties, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, or local promotions groups.
How Much: $10 million total: minimum grant size of $10,000 and maximum grant being $1 million. Match required.
Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are depleted with awards made quarterly. DCEO will have the ability to fund applications most closely aligned to eligibility criteria approved for immediate funding.
Apply: NOFO can be found here:

CLOSING SOON: Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program
What: The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that all Illinois residents have access to State capital projects and careers in the construction industry and building trades, especially those who have been historically underrepresented. Community-based organizations can apply for grant funding to recruit, prescreen, and provide pre-apprenticeship skills training that help underrepresented populations successfully transition into full apprenticeship programs in construction and building trades.
Potential Applicants: Non-profits, including public colleges or universities.
How Much: $10 million total, grants will range between $200,000 and $550,000
Deadline: October 4th, 2021.

Federal Grants
These are coming out fast! More can be found on DCEO’s website.

ARPA Economic Adjustment Assistance
What: Federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. This includes construction activities such as water and sewer system improvements, industrial parks, high-tech shipping and logistics facilities, business incubators and accelerators, brownfield redevelopment, technology-based facilities, wet labs, multi-tenant manufacturing facilities, science and research parks, workforce training facilities, and telecommunications infrastructure (e.g., broadband) and development facilities. This also includes non-construction activities such as design and engineering, technical assistance, economic recovery strategy development, and capitalization of revolving loan funds (RLFs).
Potential Applicants: Local governments, institutions of higher ed, non-profits in cooperation with local governments. District Organizations of an EDA-designated Economic Development District are also eligible.
How Much: Estimated 300 projects that cost between $500k and $5m. $500 million is available in total. EDA will allocate at least $200 million to support coal communities.
Deadline: Rolling. Suggested submission date is March 31st, 2022.
Apply: Webinars and more information can be found here:

Build Back Better Regional Challenge
What: The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. This opportunity will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more. This will be done in two phases: Phase 1 will have 50-60 regional coalitions of partnering entities will be awarded ~$500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop and support three to eight projects to grow a regional growth cluster; in Phase 2 the EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, to implement those projects.
Potential Applicants:  EDA Economic Development Districts, local governments, and institutions of higher education. Applicants should identify one key coordinating lead institution per regional cluster to lead the concept and projects into the implementation phase, while fostering collaboration and coordinating resources to ensure these investments have the greatest economic impact on our communities, regions, and the nation.
How Much: Phase 1 – $200,000-$500,000; Phase 2: $25,000,000-$75,000,000
Deadline: October 19, 2021
Apply: Apply Here

EDA’s STEM Talent Challenge
What: The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s STEM Talent Challenge aims to build STEM talent training systems to strengthen regional innovation economies through projects that use work-based learning models to expand regional STEM-capable workforce capacity and build the workforce of tomorrow. Competitive projects should clearly align training activities with the talent needs of regional employers, leading to an increase in high-wage, high-growth employment opportunities with innovation-driven businesses and in industries of the future. Projects should clearly indicate how workers will be prepared for employment. Experimentation and innovation are encouraged.
Potential Applicants: Local governments, Non-profits, institutions of higher education, public-private partnerships, science or research park, federal laboratories, economic development organization or similar entity that has an application supported by a local government.
How Much: $250,000
Deadline: October 12, 2021
Apply: Apply Here

EDA Good Jobs Challenge
What: EDA’s American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge aims to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. EDA encourages efforts to reach historically underserved populations and areas, communities of color, women, and other groups facing labor market barriers such as persons with disabilities, disconnected youth, individuals in recovery, individuals with past criminal records, including justice impacted and reentry participants, individuals participating in government assistance programs, and veterans and military spouses. The EDA will fund system development, program design and program implementation.
Potential Applicants: EDA Economic Development Districts, local governments, institutions of higher education, non-profits (including labor unions) acting in cooperation with local governments. The system or partnership should be led by a System Lead Entity or Backbone Organization, respectively, serving as an intermediary that has convening power in the region and the capacity to coordinate all necessary stakeholders.
How Much: $1,000,000 – $25,000,000
Deadline: January 26, 2022
Apply: Apply Here

Stay well,

Mike Paone
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
815.727.5371 main
815.727.5373 direct