Economic Development Organizations (EDOs*) are a vital link between rural communities and the private businesses in their area. By helping to build the conditions for businesses to start, grow, and expand, EDOs directly contribute to the economic vitality of their towns, counties, and regions. A strong workforce with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet the needs of local businesses is a key component of a thriving rural economy, and EDOs are often at the forefront of helping to attract, train, and retain those workers. Through knowledge of their communities’ unique strengths and assets, partnerships with local business interests, and experience in economic development, EDOs help create a thriving rural economy.
With the goal of supporting the workforce development needs of rural communities in our catchment, we are pleased to announce the launch of our Rural Workforce Development grant! This grant opportunity is available to 501(c)(3) economic development organizations within the Patterson Family Foundation catchment that are committed to helping address their communities’ workforce needs. Awarded grant funds can be used to address your workforce needs in a variety of ways, including:
Organizations interested in being considered for this funding will need to register through the Patterson Family Foundation Grants Portal and apply. We request that each organization select one contact per organization to register and apply through the Grants Portal, typically an Economic Development Director or similar position.
One goal of the Rural Workforce Development grant is to gather knowledge and insights from the individuals and organizations that best understand the needs of their community to support our continued focus in workforce development.
Applications will be received from September 27 to October 27, 2023. Read on for more details. We understand that some organizations may need approval from their board to apply for grant funding. If your board's schedule does not align with our application deadline, please reach out to us. We will work to accommodate your schedule.
Applicant organizations should:
• Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
• Be located in and serving a county or community within the Patterson Family Foundation's Kansas or Western Missouri catchment.
• Be actively working on or interested in workforce development initiatives within your catchment.
Please note that this is a highly competitive grant process. Only the strongest proposals will be considered for funding. Applications with the best data demonstrating the precise need, how funding will be used, evidence supporting the efficacy of the proposed initiative, and realistic expected outcomes will have the best chance of being selected. This opportunity is being made available to more than 100 economic development organizations in the Patterson Family Foundation's catchment. There is no minimum or maximum award per applicant. The Patterson Family Foundation has budgeted $1,500,000 to support workforce development initiatives throughout rural Kansas and Western Missouri with this grant opportunity.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact:
Adam Erickson, Program Officer
Patterson Family Foundation
Grant funding may be used for:
• Training and/or reskilling initiatives for high-demand jobs.
• Initiatives aimed at developing a local workforce to align with the needs of potential new businesses.
• Implementing, piloting, or expanding replicable/sustainable ideas and best practices for workforce development.
• Training a local workforce for high-paying, in-demand careers.
• Identifying and evaluating high-need skills for your community.
• Education, training, or certification for workers in a specific region, industry, or sector.
• Projects or programs that support your community’s workforce needs not specifically mentioned here.
Out of scope:
• Capital expenses.
• Scholarship, tuition, or other direct non-career education expenses for individuals.
• Funds to support salary, benefits, or costs related to existing applicant organization staff.
• Funds to support salary, benefits, or costs related to hiring applicant organization staff.
• Expenses related to travel or accommodation for training, conferences, etc.
• If awarded, your organization will be responsible for executing the workforce development initiative as outlined in your unique grant application.
• If the project involves brokering payments to local organizations, the grantee will be responsible for managing and tracking those payments and outcomes.
• If this program requires marketing to individuals or organizations, that should be reflected in the project budget at the time of application.
Reporting requirements will vary depending on the specific timelines, goals, and outcomes of your unique workforce development program. Generally, the Patterson Family Foundation requires one (1) report for every twelve months your program is active, with a final report one year after the program has concluded and/or all grant funding has been utilized.
Award determinations will be sent to all applicants in November 2023. Organizations selected for funding will be sent an Award Letter outlining the terms of the grant agreement. We ask that all awarded grantees sign and return their Award Letter within one week of its receipt.
• Unless specifically requested otherwise, full grant funding will be disbursed in December 2023.
• Awardees must sign and return an Award Letter agreeing to the terms of the grant funding before funding is disbursed.
• Funding will be disbursed from the Patterson Family Foundation directly to the awarded organizations.
• Funds will be disbursed either by check or wire transfer.
• Grantees must sign and return a Contribution Acknowledgement within one week of receiving grant funding.