The Department of Employment and Economic Development of the state of Minnesota (DEED) has launched a new era of inclusion in grants and programs. In recent week there has been a very sustained effort to bring the ALANA and other communities into the rather opaque and burdensome state economic development process. Beginning with outreach and education to organizations named and funded in the Equity legislation and extending to the new round of competitive grants, the agency has worked hard to ensure the word gets out and the application process is accessible and understood. A panel of community individuals will help select projects for funding. It is expected that this round of projects will get a lot of applications for a very small pool of money. We hope this process and ideas from the community will provide legislators and policy makers a rationale for a longer, deeper and better thought out strategy for ALANA economic development in the next legislative session.
The deadline for the competitive grants open to a wide range of organizations can be found here, and is due September 30, 2016.
We hope this round of grants will help build the capacity of smaller organizations and includes the diversity within the ALANA communities and rural Minnesota.
Below are details from DEED’s website….
Nonprofits can apply for competitive grants for the following existing programs and services at DEED:
- Pathways to Prosperity Program, $1 million
The program helps low-wage and low-skill adults who have multiple barriers to employment obtain credentials and skills that prepare them for jobs in growing fields such as health care and manufacturing.
- Youth at Work Program, $1 million
The program provides employment and training services for youth of color, youth with disabilities and at-risk youth.
- Women in High Wage, High Demand, Nontraditional Jobs Competitive Grant Program, $1.5 million
The program focuses on closing the gender pay gap and encourage women to enter nontraditional fields such as STEM or construction.
Nonprofits can also apply for competitive grants for the following new programs and services at DEED:
- Emerging Entrepreneur Fund, $857,000
The fund will provide loans to businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and people with disabilities. The fund expands on the former metro-focused Urban Initiative Loan Fund.
- Capacity Building Grant Program, $320,000
The program, which will be operated by DEED’s Office of Career and Business Opportunity, will help organizations address shortcomings in financial management, governance, human resources, information technology, strategic planning, strategic alliances and accountability. The goal is to make organizations that serve people of color and other groups facing equity barriers more competitive for grants and other state support.
- Southeast Asian Economic Relief Competitive Grant Program, $2 million
The program will address economic disparities in the Southeast Asian community through workforce recruitment, development, job creation, increased capacity of smaller organizations and outreach.
- Support Services Competitive Grant Program, $2 million
The program will focus on low-income communities, young adults from low-income families and communities of color, offering job training, employment preparation, internships, job assistance to fathers, financial literacy, academic and behavioral intervention for low-performing students and youth intervention.
- Somali Youth Competitive Grant Program, $2 million
Funding will support organizations and programs that serve Somali youth.