will continue to serve the nonprofit and small business community during the COVID-19 global crisis.  In addition to posting new COVID-19 Coronavirus funding opportunities, we will continue to update active grants with new extended grant deadlines.  While we are carefully monitoring funding opportunities and updating throughout each day, the situation is dynamic. We ask that all GrantWatch members review the URL listed in the grant posting and all material provided by the funding source prior to submitting applications.

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Workforce Development Challenge (WDC)

Grants to New York Nonprofits in Eligible
Regions for Employment Training Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Deadline Date:



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Grants to New York nonprofit organizations in eligible regions for employment training programs designed for underserved communities. Funding is intended to help organizations implement workforce training that will lead to job placement and retention. Applicants must be located in or provide services to Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and/or Allegany counties. Eligible projects will promote workforce development in at least one of the region’s target industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, tourism, energy and agriculture. Projects preparing workers for tech occupations will also be considered.

WDC will also support target sectors ripe for growth in jobs and career ladder opportunities for entry-level and mid-skill workers, while funding best practice models that maximize collaboration between business and workforce trainers. 

The Workforce Development Challenge-Empire State Development will consider proposals that:

  • Support target industry sectors ripe for growth by expanding the workforce pipeline through meaningful industry partnerships leading to industry-driven training
  • Prepare unemployed and underemployed populations for high-demand, higher paying jobs with potential for career advancement
  • Create career opportunities for entry-level and mid-skill workers
  • Increase the capacity of grassroots, community-based organizations with proven track records in results-oriented workforce training
  • Invest in both innovative approaches to workforce training to better serve industry needs, as well as best practice models that maximize collaboration among industry, employers and workforce trainers
  • Ensure that workers of all skill levels, socioeconomic groups and geographies have opportunities to progress in the labor force

For information about project eligibility, see:

Given the complexity of this issue, preference will be given to those projects that employ multiple workforce development strategies and may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • On-the-job training
  • Apprenticeships
  • Career-focused, targeted educational and/or vocational training that leads to a certificate or other non-degree bearing postsecondary credential
  • Mentorships
  • Training and job promotion and recruitment
  • Job placement and retention
  • Creating partnerships with industry
  • Strengthening connections between employers and job seekers
  • Diversity and inclusion training for industry sector partners
  • Childcare post placement

For additional information about eligible activities, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187684

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants must request a minimum of $250,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants will be provided for up to two years. Extensions on awards will be considered, especially for capital projects, on a case-by-case basis provided substantial progress has been made on the project in the first 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The WDC will facilitate partnerships with community and neighborhood-based organizations with proven track records, trust, and outstanding abilities for outreach and recruitment.

Applicants must:
- Be a not-for-profit corporation with Section 501(c)(3) status, as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. A not-for-profit corporation must be registered and up-to-date with filings with the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.
- Have an established track record of effective training and trusted relationships within communities.
- Be located in or provide services to Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and/or Allegany counties.
- Demonstrate the development and financial management expertise to successfully develop, design, construct, manage and implement the project.
- Demonstrate ownership or site control (i.e., lease or letter of intent to lease) of all real estate considered part of the proposed projects (for capital projects).

For information about funding restrictions, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by March 2, 2020. Awards will be announced in Spring 2020.

Applications must be submitted electronically online through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Foundant Grant Lifecycle manager.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions regarding the Community Foundation’s online applications system, please contact Alexandra Warner at call (716) 852-2857 ext. 213.

For all other questions related to the Workforce Development Challenge, please contact John Risio at

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Larkin At Exchange
727 Exchange Street, Suite 525
Buffalo, NY 14210
P: (716) 852-2857
F: (716) 852-2861

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and/or Allegany Counties

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