Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Grant Opportunities For Qualifying Organizations

Information regarding available grants targeted at specific workforce development issues.

Regular WIA Funding

The grant opportunities listed on this page are designed for eligible organizations to conduct innovation projects and are not intended to serve individual WIA customers.

Individuals seeking WIA services, including occupational or career training, should contact their local workforce investment area staff to inquire about WIA.

Your local contact information can be found at

Rapid Response Services

The Illinois Department of Commerce requests applications from qualified organizations to assist in the provision of rapid response services as authorized by the Workforce Investment Act (Public Law 105-220).  The Department of Commerce is responsible for coordinating rapid response activity in the case of a permanent closure or mass layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise, or a natural or other disaster, that results in mass job dislocation.  Grant funds may be available to provide industry sector experts to develop, coordinate and implement strategies that will assist dislocated workers in obtaining reemployment as soon as possible.  Applicants must have a direct connection to the industry and/or dislocation event.  For more information please visit the program website at

Rapid Response Request for Application

Rapid Response Grant Application

Illinois Workforce Development Innovation Grants

As available funding is identified, the Illinois Department of Commerce will work with state agency partners in conducting innovation projects to explore workforce development strategies in the sectors identified in the Illinois Pathways Initiative or targeted at other sectors or special populations identified by the Illinois Workforce Investment Board, including ex-offenders, veterans and youth.  Select this link to go to the Illinois Pathways web page:

Original Illinois Pathways Sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Research & Development
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Eligible organizations the Department of Commerce will consider for funding include:  industry organizations, local workforce investment areas (LWIAs), community colleges, and community-based non-profit organizations that address issues relevant to supporting workforce development in Illinois Pathways sectors.  Priority will be given to organizations that have strong employer partnerships with immediate hiring needs in the targeted skill areas and organizations committed to expanding training capacity using proven or innovative approaches to training and employing skilled workers in these targeted sectors.  Individual job seekers are not eligible to apply for this grant opportunity, and should inquire about WIA services at their local Illinois workNet Center or online at

Use the DCEO Grant Tracker application to see grants awarded by DCEO.

Innovation Grants for Research on Barriers to Employment Faced by Re-Entry Populations

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is working with state agency partners to provide grants for the study and research of issues related to challenges and barriers faced by the re-entry population in finding employment in key sector occupations.

Workforce Innovation Fund

The Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing (ATIM) Program is funded by a US Department of Labor Workforce Innovation grant.  The program rapidly prepares workers for high-demand jobs in manufacturing.  Individuals selected to participate will benefit from personal career development and accelerated training plans to meet each participant’s needs; paid job skill training and national credential exams in high-demand fields; work-based learning opportunities with manufacturing employers; ongoing team counseling; and permanent job placement. This program is part of a study designed to learn about how the program makes a difference in helping people get employment in the manufacturing industry.  For more information please visit the program website at

Workforce Innovation and Sector Partnership Pilots

The Illinois Department of Commerce, Office of Employment and Training, is seeking proposals from interested and qualified agencies, public or private corporations, community-based organizations, governmental units and others to develop and implement innovative programs and/or strategies designed to meet employer needs including the convening and implementation of industry and sector partnerships under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in Illinois. The award of any grant is based on proposals received in response to this request is contingent upon the receipt of adequate federal funding allocations.

The Department of Commerce is an equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment by calling TTY (800) 785-6055 or 711.