Category Archives: Government

Federal Grant Opportunity: YouthBuild

Nationally, there are more than 2.3 million low-income 16-24 year-olds who are not pursuing education, employment or training. In communities across the country, there are less young people who are educated, high skilled, and actively employed contributing citizens. This means communities are limiting their growth potential, and young people are limiting their possibility.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.50.01 AMThis is where the national program, YouthBuild, can be a solution. Through YouthBuild programs, young people earn their education, learn construction skills and gain skills needed for future, long-term employment. The youth work with partners to build affordable housing in their neighborhoods as well as other community assets like schools, playgrounds, and community centers. As a result, the YouthBuild program has a ripple effect in communities by not just helping the youth, but the individuals and families getting access to affordable housing and the communities gaining important infrastructure as well as a skilled workforce.

YouthBuild formed a partnership with AmeriCorps, so many of the YouthBuild program sites are able to obtain valuable education awards for postsecondary education. In addition, the AmeriCorps program helps young people develop an identity as a community leader and active citizen in giving back to their communities.

Research on the program has shown positive outcomes for the youth participate in the program. YouthBuild programs lower recidivism rates by 40 percent. For every dollar invested in YouthBuild produces a return on investment of $7.80 up to $43.90.

YouthBuild Sites
YouthBuild Sites

For the past twenty years, YouthBuild has become a model program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through a competitive grant process. The US Department of Labor just released the grant application for the next round of funding for YouthBuild grants and below is more information to know about the grant.

Some Key Facts to Know about this Federal Grant:

  • Grant applications are due May 9, 2017.
  • Eligible applicants are public or private non-profit agencies.
  • Individual grants will range from $700,000 to $1.1 million and require a 25 percent match from applicants, using sources other than federal funding.
  • For a more complete list of eligibility requirements and application details, download the Grant Opportunity Package here.

Transform Consulting Group has helped organizations apply for and receive federal grants. We use our program development and research and analysis services to help write a compelling grant proposal for our clients. If you are interested in moving forward on this grant or other grant initiatives, contact us today for a free consultation.

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Three Tips for Creating Needs Assessment and Technical Reports

Transform Consulting Group is fortunate to work with clients who desire to better understand their targeted population, assess their needs, and develop recommendations for improvement.  Our research and analysis service includes completing a needs assessment, conducting literature review, and developing technical reports.

In doing this work, there are some common themes and steps with our approach that are applicable for anyone completing a needs assessment or writing technical reports:

  1. Define the audience. Who is the intended audience for this report?  How will they use this information?  How do we want them to use this information?
  2. Determine the key indicators. What information do we want to collect and gather during this process?  What questions do we want to answer?
  3. Decide on the format. Do we want a slide deck presentation with visuals, such as charts and graphs?  Do we want a formal written report?  How long should it be?  Would a one-page dashboard be sufficient?

Below are some case studies where we helped clients with one of these services.

  1. Indiana Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) – Annual Report

annual report coverTransform Consulting Group provides “backbone” project management support for ELAC.  Part of our work includes helping ELAC complete an annual needs assessment on the quality and availability of early education programs for young children in the state of Indiana.  After completing the fourth annual ELAC needs assessment, we have significantly improved the data collected and reported by following the three steps above.

ELAC has narrowed its focus on 16 key indicators to track annually and monitor progress (as evidenced in the dashboard).  ELAC wanted to create individual county-level dashboards that mirror the state report and inform local coalitions, so we launched the ELAC County Early Childhood Profile late last year.  Now the state and all 92 counties have information on the accessibility and affordability of high quality early childhood education and is using that information to make best practice recommendations.  Lastly, the audience for the annual report is policy makers who have limited time and capacity to read a lengthy report.  Therefore, we created a short Executive Summary of the key findings and also worked to make the report visually appealing (using Tableau data visualization) with charts and graphics that are easy to digest and understand.  We have helped ELAC create other technical reports, such as Indiana’s Early Childhood Program Funding Analysis) to inform their target audience.

  1. Indiana Head Start State Collaboration Office – Needs Assessment Report

HS CoverEach Head Start State Collaboration Office is tasked with conducting a needs assessment of Early Head Start and Head Start grantees based on specific priorities from the federal Office of Head Start and the State Collaboration Office.  Transform Consulting Group helped Indiana’s Head Start State Collaboration Office complete the 2016 Head Start Needs Assessment.  The audience for this report included multiple stakeholders from state partners to Head Start grantees.  HS assessment map 2

The purpose of the needs assessment was to understand the landscape of Head Start grantees in Indiana, identify key findings that support ongoing collaboration and provide recommendations for future planning. We pulled out key elements of the Head Start Program Information Report to understand the  Head Start programs and used that information to create some helpful tools: a map of the Head Start grantees and a table that helps stakeholders understand Head Start grants across the state. We also gathered feedback from the grantees themselves on their assessment of the strengths, gaps and opportunities around the federal and state priorities.  This work culminated in recommendations that the state used to create a five-year strategic plan.

  1. Indiana Happy Babies Brain Trust – Infant Toddler Issue Briefhappy babies

The Indiana Happy Babies Brain Trust (HBBT) workgroup was formed in 2014 with the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Zero to Three to raise awareness of infants and toddlers in Indiana.  One of the priorities of the HBBT workgroup was to create an issue brief to raise awareness about the youngest Hoosiers in the state and solutions to support their positive development.

Transform Consulting Group worked with the HBBT workgroup for about a year to complete the technical report that resulted in: Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth.  The report combined the key findings of the research, a snapshot on the state of the youngest Hoosier children (ages 0-3) and solutions that include “easy wins” with “long-term strategies”.

If your organization needs help in completing technical reports or a needs assessment with our research and analysis services, please contact us at (317) 324-4070.

 

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: AmeriCorps

acThis post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities.

AmeriCorps is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that leverages community service to tackle critical community issues such as poverty, education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps programs are located in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, community centers, and faith-based groups across the country.

AmeriCorps was created under President Bill Clinton through the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, incorporating Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). AmeriCorps just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, with over 900,000 Americans contributing to over 1 billion service hours. AmeriCorps VISTA also celebrated a recent anniversary, highlighting 50 years of volunteers serving to fight poverty across America.

AmeriCorps VISTA aims to combat poverty in local communities through capacity building. VISTA members commit to serving an agency for one year, working full-time on a specific project aimed at improving their organizational, financial, or administrative reach. Some examples include grant management, volunteer coordination, and food program design.

AmeriCorps VISTA differs from AmeriCorps State and NCCC service programs because VISTA members do not provide direct service. NCCC programs are available to citizens between the ages of 18 and 24, whereas AmeriCorps and VISTA only have a minimum age of 18 to serve.

AmeriCorps programs benefit nonprofits by providing service members that design, implement, and evaluate an organization’s programs to expand its impact. In addition, AmeriCorps programs provide citizens an opportunity to learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop a greater appreciation for service. It is clear that AmeriCorps programs benefit organizations and service members alike.

Organizations may apply for a grant directly from the Corporation for National and Community Service if they are:

  • A national nonprofit organization that operates in two or more states
  • An Indian tribe
  • A consortia formed across two or more states, consisting of institutions of higher education or other nonprofits, including labor, faith-based, and other community organizations
  • A state or territory without a State Service Commission

Organizations may apply for a grant through the State Service Commission (i.e. Serve Indiana) if program activities take place in a single state and the organization is a:

  • State and local nonprofit organization
  • Community and faith-based organization
  • State, local, and higher education institution
  • State and local government
  • U.S. territory

Transform Consulting Group can help you plan and strategize how to use AmeriCorps resources to meet your organization’s goals, as well as help you write your next AmeriCorps grant application. Transform Consulting Group has successfully helped other organizations like the United Way of Central Indiana and Early Learning Indiana receive AmeriCorps funding. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

New Federal Grant: American Apprenticeship Grant Program

UntitledThe U.S. Department of Labor has recently announced the winners of a new grant program that awarded $175 million to 46 public-private business partnerships in September of 2015. The American Apprenticeship Grant Program was created with the intent of increasing the development of apprenticeship programs across the United States.

Grant-winners have pledged to hire over 34,000 apprentices in leading-edge industries such as healthcare, IT, and advanced manufacturing. The 34,000 apprentices must be hired and trained within five years. To make this happen, the American Apprenticeship Grant Program aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Launch apprenticeship models in new, high-growth fields to equip workers with advanced skills like data analysis, mechatronics, and behavioral health assessment.
  • Align apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement such as embedding industry-recognized skill certifications or rewarding workplace learning with college credit.
  • Scale apprenticeship models that work to create more access to apprenticeships in more areas of the country, to more diverse populations.

The American Apprenticeship Grant Program will create more opportunities for hard-working Americans to acquire the skills they need to succeed in good jobs that are available now. Click here for a list of programs underway in cities and states across the country.

Transform Consulting Group applauds this initiative to strengthen the American workforce through on-the-job learning. Transform Consulting Group has experience helping organizations submit successful college and career-readiness program grant applications. Let Transform Consulting Group help your organization fund with federal dollars today!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: Farm to School

This blog is part of a series highlighting federal programs that support children, families and communities.

Just-for-Kids Veggie-Garden-Box gardeningThe United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program was created with the purpose of assisting eligible programs in creating a farm to school program to improve access to fresh, local food in schools. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm to School Grant Program not only promotes the use of farm fresh foods, but also provides education and awareness about healthy eating for children and educators.

There are four grant categories for which an organization can apply:

  1. Support Service Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indian tribal organizations and other non-profit entities (aka, the “intermediaries”) to further develop and provide support for the Farm to School programs.
  2. Implementation Grants: For schools to help further develop existing Farm to School programs.
  3. Planning Grants: For schools who are getting started to develop and structure their Farm to School Program.
  4. Training Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indiana tribal organizations and other non-profit entities to help in training individuals in technical assistance and the strengthening of local food systems.

Implementation and support service awards range from $65,000 – $100,000; Planning awards range from $20,000 – $45,000; and training awards range from $15,000 – $50,000. Matching funds of 25% are required for all four grant types.

The Farm to School program has already reported success. In the 2011-2012 school year, the Farm to School program helped approximately 40,328 schools, totaling 23,513,237 children across the nation. In Indiana, 655 schools (representing 402,732 children) participated in the Farm to School program in the 2011-2012 school year.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation reported positive reactions from children, stating that: “A local farmer comes during Farm to School Month in October for a meet your farmer day. The kids were so excited about his visit we double our vegetables sales those days and the days that follow!”

While the FY 2016 grant application deadline has already passed, information about the next grant round can be found on their website or by signing up for the Farm to School Newsletter.

Transform Consulting Group applauds programs encouraging healthy and positive child development as well as school-community partnership. For more information about our program development and grant writing services, contact us today!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: Early Intervention

As part of Transform Consulting Group’s series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities, the next federal program that is highlighted is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C). earlyintervention IDEA, Part C is designed to assist any child under the age of three who has a disability or significant delays in development. Part C is a $436 million dollar program administered by states for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays. Approximately 350,000 children are served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.

Positive early experiences not only benefit children but also their families and communities:

  • Services to young children who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays have been shown to positively impact health, language and communication, cognitive development and social/emotional development.
  • Families benefit from early intervention by being able to better meet their children’s special needs from an early age and throughout their lives.
  • Benefits to society include reducing economic burden through a decreased need for special education.

Each state has a lead agency to administer the program. To select a state, click here. Each state’s Part C program is accountable for delivering the early intervention services in accordance to the federal statute:

  • Identify and represent the interests of state and territory infant and toddler early intervention programs at the national level;
  • Develop and recommend models, standards, policies, and programs that promote quality services to eligible infants and toddlers and their families; and
  • Strengthen current leadership and foster new leadership in early intervention programs at the local, state or territory, and national levels.

Indiana’s Early Intervention Program, Indiana First Steps, is administered by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) with nine regional offices across the state. More information about the Indiana First Steps program can be found by clicking here. Transform Consulting Group has experience working with state and local organizations to apply for and implement federal programs in their community. Contact us today for a free consultation or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: Family and Youth Services Bureau

FamilyYouthServicesIn the series highlighting federal programs, Transform Consulting Group is now highlighting the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). FYSB is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support organizations and communities that work to put an end to youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and domestic violence.

FYSB offers an array of services and programs in an effort to support the social and emotional well-being of youth and families. FYSB offers three key programs:

  1. Runaway and Homeless Youth Program supports street outreach, emergency shelters and longer-term transitional living and maternity group home programs to serve and protect this population. An executive summary of young people who experienced homelessness is available here.
  2. Family Violence Prevention and Services Program administers the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), which is the primary federal funding source dedicated to the support of emergency shelter and related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children.
  3. Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program supports prevention of pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents by promoting comprehensive sex education, adulthood preparation programs and abstinence education.

The FYSB programs rely on partnerships between state, local and community based organizations to administer the identified programs and services. The Indiana Youth Services Association (IYSA) supports Youth Service Bureaus across the state that deliver community based services. To find a list of all current FYSB grantees, click on this map.

Transform Consulting Group has worked with IYSA and its members to have clear outcomes to track and monitor their progress in supporting youth in their community.

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: Job Corps

 

This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities.

jobcorpsJob Corps is a free education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is designed to help low-income young people ages 16-24 gain experience needed for a career or higher education.

The Job Corps was initiated in 1964 under the Economic Opportunity Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of the war on poverty. Since then, the Job Corps has offered resources to young adults looking for meaningful careers. Last year, the Job Corps budget was $1,691,923,000.

Job Corps offers career planning, on-the-job training, job placement, residential housing, food service, driver’s education, health and dental care, and a basic living and clothing allowance. Students receive academic training that includes basic reading and math, college preparatory courses, and Limited English Proficiency courses. Other courses offered include independent living, employability skills, and social skills to help transition to the workforce. All of the 100+ occupational training programs are designed to meet the requirements and align with industry standards.

Some of the occupational training areas include:

  • Automotive and machine repair
  • Financial services
  • Hospitality
  • Information technology
  • Construction

Job Corps students will be trained at one of 125 Job Corps centers around the country. (Click here to find a job center.) Job Corps centers are set up similar to college. Male and female students are separated and most students live at the center. Generally, each student will have anywhere from one to seven roommates. Some centers even offer childcare programs for single parents. All family members are encouraged to visit the students at the training centers.

Job Corps is a self-paced program. This means each student works at his or her own pace. Depending on the career path of a student, training can last from eight months to two years. Before graduation, a Job Corps staff member will work with each student to conduct a job search. Additionally, for six months following graduation, staff members will keep in contact with graduates for any follow-up support.

Transform Consulting Group has helped many organizations increase the impact of college and career readiness programs within their local communities. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

 

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Grant Opportunity: First in the World

 

grads 1The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education has launched the First in the World (FITW) grant program for higher education institutions to drive innovations in higher education and increase college affordability, completion, and quality outcomes through the development and testing of new approaches and strategies. This year, FITW will have two tiers:

In the development tier, projects will be funded in three areas (with specific descriptions in the announcement):

  1. Improving teaching and learning
  2. Developing and using assessments of student learning
  3. Facilitating pathways to credentialing and transfer

In the validation tier, projects will be funded in these four areas:

  1. Improving success in developmental education
  2. Improving teaching and learning
  3. Improving student support services
  4. Influencing the development of non-cognitive factors

In the 2015 fiscal year, $60 million will become available as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to push education. Fifteen of the $60 million will be set aside for minority-serving institutions, which includes historically Black College and Universities. Applications for the program are due June 30, 2015.

Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, combinations of such institutions, and other public and private institutions and agencies. Applicants are eligible to qualify as a Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) under the First in the World Competition if they meet at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Participated in the Department’s FY 2015 designation of eligibility process and received an approval letter
  2. Currently has an open grant under one of the Department’s Title III, Parts A and F and/or Title V programs
  3. Designated as a Historically Black College or University, or a Tribally Controlled College or University.

All applications should be submitted on online through Grants.gov. To complete a paper application, a written request must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the application deadline date. The First in the World team will host a pre-application webinar in partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences TODAY, May 19, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT.

Transform Consulting Group has worked with numerous programs across the state to find funding that supports college and career readiness initiatives. From creating a comprehensive fund development plan to submitting a full grant proposal, Transform Consulting Group is available to support your organization’s efforts. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

 

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

New Federal Grant Opportunities for Mentoring Programs

 

mentoringThe U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has two federal funding opportunities for mentoring organizations and programs: Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives and Mentoring for Youth: Underserved Populations.

The OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives supports mentoring programs that reduce juvenile delinquency, drug-abuse and other high-risk behaviors. The OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives grant is divided into three eligibility categories:

  1. National Mentoring Programs that have mentoring programs in at least 45 states.
  2. Multistate Mentoring Programs that have mentoring programs in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 programs.
  3. Collaborative Mentoring Programs that are a part of at least 3 and as many as 5 mentoring organizations.

An organization that applies for funding in Category 1 may not apply for funds in any other category, but an organization that applies for funding in Category 2 may also apply as a member of the collaborative to receive funds in Category 3.

For organizations interested in the Mentoring for Youth: Underserved Populations grant opportunity, DOJ is interested in mentoring organizations that serve the following underserved populations:

  1. Youth with disabilities
  2. Youth in foster care
  3. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth

Eligible applicants are limited to multistate organizations defined as organizations that have operated an established mentoring program for at least 3 years, and have active chapters or subawardees in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states.

Interested applicants in either grant must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due to be submitted and in receipt of a successful validation message in Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on June 23, 2015.

Transform Consulting Group has successfully helped other organizations apply for and receive federal grants. Contact us today to learn more about how we help organizations apply for grants and find new funding streams! 

 

 

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn