Request for Proposals - Round 5 - August 2017

Overview   |   Criteria & Requirements   |   Availability & Eligibility   |   Process & Key Dates   |   FAQs


Atlanta CareerRise is seeking proposals to establish, scale or strengthen the impact of promising partnerships in key industry sectors. These partnerships bring together employers, training and service providers, and other critical stakeholders to help individuals progress toward economic self-sufficiency, as well as helping employers meet their needs for a skilled workforce.

Click here to view and print the full Request for Proposal document, which includes necessary forms (888 KB)

Specifically, we are interested in developing partnerships that enable low-skilled incumbent workers and/or job seekers to enter and advance along career pathways that lead to family-sustaining wages, while giving employers the opportunity to strengthen their existing front-line workforce and cultivate a robust, ready pipeline of entry-level workers. Proposed activities should support, pilot or scale promising efforts to move low-skill or low-wage individuals toward sustainable-wage careers in vibrant and growing local economic sectors.

Atlanta CareerRise will provide funding for activities and work supports that lead to career advancement, as measured by short-term outcomes that directly benefit both the employee and the employer, such as the awarding of new credentials, increased wages, promotion or hiring into a new position. It is intended that funding from Atlanta CareerRise funds will augment other investments or funding sources to facilitate scaling, expansion or replication of efforts.

Criteria and Requirements

Successful proposals will meet the following criteria:

  • Documented involvement of three employers (at minimum) in the project and a description of their role, support, and commitment
  • Matching funds or co-investment of at least 1:1 with Atlanta CareerRise funds
  • Description of how the project advances the individuals served into career pathways that lead to sustainable-wage, middle-skill jobs that are supported by labor market information and wage data
  • Identification and commitment of a designated partnership manager
  • A plan for regularly convening and managing stakeholders engaged in the project
  • Strategy for providing wrap-around services, coaching, and/or work supports that continue at least six months after training and into the initial employment period to maximize success and retention
  • Clarity on goals for systems change and how the project will lead to, disseminate and advocate for improved practices that result in better outcomes for the under-employed

Availability and Eligibility

Atlanta CareerRise is allocating a funding pool of approximately $300,000 to this request for proposal (RFP). Individual proposals are expected to not exceed $75,000 for a one-year project, but proposals requesting less or more may be considered depending on scope, scale, leverage and project partners.

The activities outlined in funding requests should not to exceed one year in duration, although a renewal will be considered based upon funding availability. The funding contract period may begin as early as November 1, 2017.

For-profit and nonprofit organizations, and 501(c)(3) organizations with extensive sector knowledge and management capacity may lead an industry partnership and apply for this funding. The partnership must be located in or primarily serving individuals in one or more of the following Greater Atlanta counties: Butts, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale.

Process and Key Dates

  • A mandatory letter of intent is due by 5:00 pm Eastern time on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  • Full proposals are due by 5:00 pm Eastern time on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

Click here to view and print the full Request for Proposal document, which includes necessary forms (888 KB)

In addition, there will be an optional bidders' conference on Tuesday, August 29 from 9:30-10:30 am Eastern time. You can attend at the United Way of Greater Atlanta, or call in (1-877-625-8448 ; passcode 194 135 2896#).

For questions or additional information, please contact:

Atlanta CareerRise
United Way of Greater Atlanta
100 Edgewood Avenue, Second Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303


FAQs from the August 29 Bidders Conference

Click here to download the presentation from the Bidders Conference that was held on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

Is it acceptable for some of the participants to come from outside the 13-county area specified in the RFP?
Yes, as long as the project, its partners and participants are mostly centered in the 13-county area.

Can multiple entities apply separately, then be connected (through Atlanta CareerRise) to work collectively?
Yes, that's why we ask for a letter of intent. Similar proposals can be identified and organizations connected to potentially collaborate.

Is this request for proposals open to churches or faith-based organizations?
Yes, as long as the requirements specified in the RFP are met. However, if the church or organization restricts assistance to persons of a certain faith, that application would likely not be considered.

For organizations that are awarded year-one funding through this RFP, will there be a different process for requesting year-two funding?
No, using this same proposal and process, we ask you to more specifically focus on what you've done, outcomes and what you will do with funding in the second year of the project.

Will proposals for this (Fall 2017) round of funding be ranked and reconsidered for possible Spring 2018 funding?
We will consider on a per-case basis. It's possible that in exceptional cases we might consider planning grants. Depending on funding availability, we may be able to conduct a Spring 2018 round of funding that will likely focus in the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) sectors.

How many partners are needed for a successful proposal?
We ask for a minimum of one non-profit provider of service and support, as well as at least three employers. Trade associations may count as one employer. There is no upward limit on partners; we look for a diversity and richness of partners for each proposal, as well as a breadth of services and supports.

How can we find out what kinds of projects have already been done in these counties?
Each local workforce board has analyses of the local labor market and a knowledge of sector work in its area; we encourage you to collaborate with your local workforce area.

Are we calling this a sector strategy?
Some occupations, for example IT, cross sectors and are especially viable opportunities, and may be considered a cross-sector strategy. This round of funding is an opportunity to strengthen sectoral approaches with growing industries that pay a sustainable wage in middle skill occupations.

Is year-two funding separate from this RFP?
Yes, depending on funding availability and performance outcomes, grantees can submit a proposal for year-two funding that will be competitively considered in next year's round.

Are you looking for pathways to be within specific industries or with certain employers with whom you've already partnered?
The key consideration is career pathways that pay sustainable wages for middle skill opportunities, and employers who are experiencing 'pain' in frontline positions and advancement who will work with the workforce system to define and implement solutions. We generally look for employers with internal pathways so that employees don’t always have to change jobs to reach middle skills and a living wage.

What is the "golden egg" or big win for this funding cycle?
One way to consider success is this: employers looking for projects to get workers into frontline positions that lead to middle-skill jobs, pathways to advancement and a sustainable living wage. We’re also looking for wraparound support to get and keep a job, and be successful in life. We like to see well-defined strategies toward these goals.

Are there particular numbers (in terms of participants served) that you're looking for?
Not necessarily, but many of the projects we've funded have typically served 40-60 people. We ask that proposals have a realistic view of per-person spending and administrative costs.

Is there a prohibition on using virtual training for workforce development efforts?
No, as long as it makes sense for the population you're serving, and if it meets their needs.

Are there model programs that you can share with us to consider in our proposals?
Yes, please check out the Atlanta CareerRise ( and National Fund for Workforce Development ( websites.


Atlanta CareerRise

Through workforce partnerships individuals can gain the skills they need for career advancement and to meet the employers' need for a skilled workforce!

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