CFA helps DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education win $4.1 Million+ to Expand Postsecondary Employment Opportunities

The DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), supported by The Community Funding Accelerator (CFA), received $4.1M from the Department of Education for three years, with a potential extension worth $2.95M, to enhance healthcare and cybersecurity career pathways for high school students in the District of Columbia. This initiative aims to improve postsecondary employment and education opportunities for students, offering equitable education and clear paths to post-graduation employment. Focused on the District of Columbia’s Advanced Technical Center (ATC), the program features fee-free dual enrollment and work-based learning opportunities, including paid internships and industry-recognized credentials, in both healthcare and cybersecurity fields.
During the application process, CFA provided the DC coalition with strategic advisory sessions with an experienced Department of Education grant writer, full mock scoring, and grant review to identify opportunities to further strengthen their application. Read the full press release here.

CFA-Supported coalitions in Birmingham and El Paso receive Recompete designation from the U.S. Dept of Commerce

Coalitions in Birmingham, Alabama and El Paso, Texas have been selected as finalists of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Recompete
pilot program. This is the most competitive program in EDA’s history with only 10% of over 200 applicants recognized as finalists. The Community Funding Accelerator (CFA) supported both cities’ coalitions in the application process and will continue to provide assistance as they apply for $20 to $50 million in funding in phase 2 of the program.
CFA played a pivotal role in the success of both Birmingham and El Paso’s coalitions by
facilitating engagement of various local partners. This collaboration is key to tackling regional challenges, focusing on strengthening K-12 education and workforce pathways, thereby readying the community and creating robust talent pipelines for future jobs. CFA’s contribution was not just limited to partnerships; CFA also provided deep technical assistance and expert grant writing support, critical elements in development and submission of their successful applications. Read the official press release here.

​​CFA-supported coalitions in Colorado and Utah are awarded Tech Hubs recognition

Two coalitions supported by CFA have been awarded recognition under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Tech Hubs Program. The Colorado Elevate Quantum Consortium received one of 31 Tech Hub designations nationwide. This opens the door for the consortium to apply for up to $75 million in implementation funding. In Utah, the Advanced Manufacturing of Critical Materials Strategy Development Consortium, led by the Utah Advanced Materials Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), received a Strategy Development Grant (SDG) of approximately $450,000.

Elevate Quantum, who were also supported by TechHubNow!, aim to usher in a new era of quantum technology in the Centennial State. Flagship programs will build awareness of quantum jobs as early as K-12, with a focus on underserved communities.

For UAMMI, the Tech Hubs SDG highlights Utah’s potential to become an epicenter of the critical materials industry, addressing a crucial national security and economic need. Their strategy will redefine Utah’s critical materials landscape. It will also cultivate a generation of skilled professionals ready to lead the industry into the future. Consortium partners include local schools and leaders in STEM and 4-H programming. These partners will ensure that workforce development, earth stewardship, and skills alignment begin in K-12 education.

CFA supported both consortia in their Tech Hubs bid. It provided coalition-building support and deep technical assistance in developing winning applications. CFA will also provide implementation and further planning support to both coalitions. It will help to make sure K-12 is front and center in these critical regional development initiatives.

“CFA’s work specifically ensured that the applications were centered around diversity, equity and inclusion, that they explicitly developed plans for scaling new, region-wide workforce pathways in support of these emerging tech categories, and that the final grant submissions were of the highest quality,” said JB Holston, Strategic Advisor to Colorado TechHubNow!. “Without [CFA], Colorado would not have been competitive for Tech Hubs.”

“We are so appreciative of CFA’s coaching, which led to this winning proposal,” said Dr. Tulinda Larsen, President of UAMMI.

Read the official press release here

Heartland Forward is awarded $1,499,931 to build pathways from secondary schools to nursing careers

CFA-supported Heartland Forward received $1,499,931 from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities grant. The grant supports building career pathways from secondary schools to nursing careers in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Borders regions.

Heartland Forward joins with the Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Hospital Association, five major employers, and three educational institutions. It will build a clear pathway for secondary students into nursing programs and career apprenticeships. Heartland Forward seeks to support underserved veterans as well as low-income, first-generation, and rural students participating in the program.

Heartland Forward’s project aims to expose 1,050 students to a potential career in nursing. It plans to guide 179 students through the program application process. It will also provide ongoing support such as childcare and transportation as students complete the program. The long-term goal of this project is to see 10% of the students in nursing careers. Heartland Forward will be working in partnership with CFA to implement this work.

“We have heard time and again from legislators, community leaders and patients that the nursing shortage is a major concern with regard to health care,” said Maria Rodriguez-Alcala, Program Director for Health and Wellness at Heartland Forward. “We thank the US Department of Labor and CFA for supporting our vision of developing a comprehensive pathway to nursing careers, particularly in rural communities where this is ever-more essential. We can’t wait to work with our community partners in getting started!”

Read the official press release here.

Delivery Associates launches the Community Funding Accelerator (CFA) 

Launching on September 18, 2023, CFA helps underserved communities win competitive federal grants. CFA demystifies the competitive federal grants landscape. It delivers world-class technical assistance and drives implementation to scale innovative education and workforce solutions in communities across the U.S.

There are new federal funds available to foster and scale innovative solutions in education. However, competitive federal grants are complex. Many organizations need support to make the most of this moment.

“The Community Funding Accelerator initiative is instrumental in helping us capitalize on funding opportunities previously unexplored, with the specific goal of fortifying our coalition and enhancing our collective impact,” said Ronnie King, Co-Founder of MyVillage Project in Jacksonville, Florida. King and his colleagues are working to create a collective of Black organizations to lift up Black students and families. “The CFA team has demonstrated expertise in the federal grant process, but, most importantly, they understand our community’s desired outcomes.”

Along with technical assistance, CFA increases access to competitive federal grants through a Competitive Federal Grants Tracker. Users can search grants by topic. They can sort by closing date, grant ceiling amount, and recently-added competitive federal grants. This tool helps them find competitive grants they might not have been aware of to advance their community’s goals. From there, they can reach out to CFA for technical assistance. This assistance may include idea incubation, grant application support, coalition building, and implementation planning.

Currently in its pilot phase, CFA has helped 9 coalitions apply for up to $10 million in federal funding. It has the potential to support 1.9 million K-12 students. By the end of its first year, CFA estimates it will have supported 25 grantees to apply for up to $178 million in federal funding.

Read the official press release here.