Thursday, May 27, 2010

OCS Releases Two Funding Streams for Job Creation

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services released two funding notices related to opportunities for employment for low-income people last week. They are the FY 2010 Community Economic Development (CED) and the FY 2010 Job Opportunities for Low Income Individuals (JOLI.)

CED are discretionary grant funds available to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for “well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development in low-income communities.” In this funding cycle, OCS has a specific interest in funding projects that will “create jobs in green businesses, specific automotive communities, or that operate in states that currently receive no CED or Job Opportunities for Low-income Individuals (JOLI) funding.”

The ultimate goal of the CED is to create permanent, full-time jobs in a low-income service area. CED funds CDCs working alone or in partnership for both business start up or business expansion. The funds do not support mircroenterprise business development.

According to the NOFA:

In addition to a well-planned and viable strategy for business creation or
expansion, applicants must have in place:
(1) written financial commitments
for all non-CED funding,
(2) needed management, staff, and other resources,
(3) evidence of site control in the form of a lease agreement or deed, and
(4) referral sources to help identify low-income individuals to fill the

Over $32 million will be distributed in roughly 41 awards. Letters of Intent to apply for funding are due June 14th and applications are due July 1st. A conference call for interested applicants will be held June 1, 2010, at 1pm eastern standard time. Interested applicants should register for the call at: The full notice can be found here.

JOLI funds support “business development and expansion opportunities, including micro-enterprise and self-employment opportunities, in an effort to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency.” These funds are awarded to non-profit organizations and should focus in one of three areas (1) new business ventures, (2) business expansion, and (3) self-employment/micro-enterprise projects.

JOLI also places a priority on projects that “identify and address the personal and community barriers that must be overcome to help low-income individuals become self-sufficient.” Projects that work with employers and community groups to address barriers like domestic violence, substance abuse, lack of affordable transportation, life skills and past criminal history in recruitment and retention strategies have been successful in the past. JOLI expects that new jobs will be created – although the grant places a limit on the amount of money spent per job created.

A total of over $2 million will be distributed in approximately 8 awards. A transcript of a conference call for interested applicants held this week can be found here . The full notice can be found here.

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