Preparation and Research Necessary Prior to Proposal Development

A good starting point for new communities not familiar with the EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (JT) program is to obtain a copy of the most recent RFP available on EPA’s website. This advice also applies to current grantees considering competing for funds to continue their program.

JT grants are available to nonprofit organizations, governmental organizations, and tribes. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or go online and print a statement showing an organization's current status as a 501(c)(3) or other nonprofit designation. Organizations should be current on tax return filings with no delinquencies or defaults. If there are deficiencies, allow enough time to remedy them before the proposal is due. Document an organization’s current status and request a copy of the original IRS letter granting 501(c)(3) or other nonprofit status.

It is also important not to duplicate training in a targeted community. Research the Web and use other resources (some of which are identified in the RFP) to find other institutions or nonprofit organizations who offer environmental training in the proposed targeted area. If so, what type of training is offered and how extensive is the program? Based on the findings, ensure that the proposed training will not duplicate services already offered to the same targeted community or segment of population.

Begin researching and constructing a contact list of potential environmental employers in the targeted community and nearby municipalities. The list may include environmental organizations, temporary manpower firms, governmental organizations, and many companies not directly involved in environmental remediation. The contact list will grow as research and referrals continue. Developing a contact list is one of the first and most important pre-proposal activities for successful grantees. It forms the basis of a needs assessment used for recruiting advisors, supporters, trainers, potential employers, and partners.

Ensure the principal applicant’s Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) information is current and there are no deficiencies. D&B registration is part of the application process. It will also be necessary to register with the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is the official U.S. government system that ensures that all federal grants are administered properly. There is no fee to register for this site.

If the organization submitting the grant proposal has previously submitted proposals for federal assistance, administrative requirements are likely in place. It is prudent to double check this, as administrative requirements change and differ between agencies. For example, the JT program does not require cost sharing, but it also does not allow for indirect costs and limits support to specific training activities as defined in the RFP.