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The US Department of Labor (USDOL) has announced the availability of funds for the America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program. This funding opportunity is designed to strengthen the nation’s workforce through collaborative partnerships by developing nimble tuition-free education and training programs that will allow H-1B visa holders to earn in-demand middle and high-skilled jobs. While there are no competitive preference points, projects should present a rationale as to why the targeted region is viewed or treated as a single “economic” region, as the funder is specifically encouraging projects that serve communities with poverty rates of 20%+ (including Promise Zone areas).    

Although USDOL is expecting grantees to participate in their national evaluation study (just like TAACCCT), the use of an external evaluator is not as strongly emphasized by the funder. However, most grantees simply do not have the capacity to collect and analyze data needed to conduct the level of evaluation that USDOL expects. This makes including evaluation services in your America’s Promise program even more critical.  

The effectiveness of your America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program depends on your organization’s capacity, knowledge and expertise to meet the funder’s demands. Before submitting your application or beginning your project, you may want to ask yourself if an experienced Evaluator is your solution to a successful grant program.

If you’ve already made the decision to minimize risk, increase cost savings, and ensure accountability by including evaluation services in your America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant program, it is important to choose an Evaluator with the approach, capacity, and credentials that fit your needs. With more than 30 years combined experience in evaluation and assessment, the dedicated Evaluation Team at NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) may be the ideal choice for your program evaluation.

As the Evaluator of your America’s Promise grant program, the NC State IES Evaluation Team offers the following value-added services that may be scaled to and aligned with your specific needs:

  • Conduct a developmental evaluation to incorporate a learning component into the program activities.
  • Provide a formative assessment of program development and implementation, to include input for real-time continuous improvement of the program.
  • Assess data sources and data collection methods used to measure performance in order to ensure high-quality data for outcomes analysis by the national evaluation team at the end of the grant period.
  • Help grantees not only prepare for the end-of-program national evaluation, but also provide the benefit of an objective, real-time evaluation as the program progresses.
  • Have regular discussions with program participants and stakeholders to gauge perceptions of program status, challenges, and to identify issues warranting more in-depth review.

The IES Evaluation Team recognizes that America’s Promise can have a positive impact on the Nation’s workforce and is interested in helping applicants submit a successful proposal. The deadline for application submission is swiftly approaching, so contact us while there’s still time!