FY21 Illinois Youth Investment Program (IYIP) Q and A and Technical Assistance Sessions

Attention:

The final deadline to submit any questions regarding this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is Monday, July 27th, 2020.

Submit your questions to DHS.YouthServicesInfo@illinois.gov 

There will be one virtual technical assistance sessions planned to review the requirements of this Funding Notice.

Session

Date: July 15th, 2020
Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm

Below is the registration link for July 15th from 9am-12pm

ATTENTION: 

We have been notified of an issue with Appendix L.  The link to the Sub Contractor Budget was not working for some applicants.  Please use this FORM (pdf) if you are unable to use the form in the original link.  Please note, the Sub Contractor Budget is NOT entered into CSA System.  Any questions or other issues, please email us at DHS.YouthServicesInfo@illinois.gov and we will assist you. 


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO FY21 ILLINOIS YOUTH INVESTMENT PROGRAM (IYIP) NOFO: 

July 17, 2020:

  1. Will applications ONLY be accepted from the 6 targeted counties or are those counties simply the priority?
    Answer: The Department will ONLY accept applications from organizations in and serving portions of one or more of the 6 identified counties.
  2. If an ICQ has been completed by an institution, does it need to be completed again?
    Answer: An FY21 ICQ must be completed by your organization to be eligible. If your organization has already completed/submitted one, then it is NOT necessary to complete another FY21 ICQ.
  3. Where we should budget youth employment support, incentives, and employment stipend wages/taxes? Does it go under Miscellaneous, or Exclusive Grant item?
    Answer: Youth employment support will go in which ever line items are appropriate. For wages/taxes etc, stipends/taxes etc., and Incentives - these will each go into a grant exclusive line item. Please list these 3 separately.
  4. What is the De Minimis rate?
    Answer: 10%
  5. Are all categories required to be open to 16-24 year olds? Can an organization restrict ages to 18-24?
    Answer: An organization may design a program to serve the entire eligible population or any portion thereof.
  6. May we require a HS diploma for apprenticeship?
    Answer: Yes
  7. Is food and/or entertainment incentives (gift card to movies or restaurant, for example) allowed under this funding?
    Answer: Yes, presuming it meets the requirements for incentives. - Refer to NOFO for details.
  8. Are incentives only to come out of the $15.00 per client?
    Answer: No. These would be separate from the wage. Please refer to NOFO for specific details regarding the payment of wages and incentives.
  9. So, no limit on minimum wage as in the prior RFP?
    Answer: All youth MUST be paid AT LEAST minimum wage for the area for which they are employed. There is not cap set on the wage amount a youth may be paid - EXCEPT that the Grant may not pay for more than $15.00 per hour.
  10. Does the organization board have to be made up with majority Black and Brown members?
    Answer: From the NOFO: Applications from Black-led, not-for-profit community-based organizations (501C3) may submit, as Attachment A16 a "Statement of Priority" for review and consideration as part of the application process. If the applicant organization is an otherwise qualified applicant under this funding notice, and is able to demonstrate and attest to being a Black-led organization as defined by the make-up of the Board of Directors and the Organizations' leadership and management being more than 50% Black, the applicant will receive up to 10 priority points as part of the application review/scoring process.
  11. Are we responsible for additional withholdings associated with wages?
    Answer: YES.
  12. If two employers have different wage rates, is that okay and do we list those separately?
    Answer: YES - not all youth have to make the same wage - it will vary by employer etc. Each youth will be documented in Illinois workNet and each wage rate will be provided in the system. For purposes of the application forms, you can combine and list range or group by rate - your call just explain as necessary.
  13. Are support services (transportation, work supplies, etc) separate from incentive?
    Answer: YES. However, it is possible for you to make some of those things an incentive - example - the youth may have a goal in his/her case plan to do "X", and if they complete it and achieve a certain level, you will buy them a new pair of work boots. But support services do not have to be turned into incentives.
  14. As a CBO with a mission-related social enterprise/small business, we provide internships and paid work experience - can we use the grant to cover the wages of these interns and paid youth jobs under the terms of IYIP?
    Answer: Yes. However, there are restrictions/limits on this. Please refer to the wages sections and the Job placement sections of the NOFO under the program categories for which you intend to apply.
  15. Does an organization led by Latinos count as "Black-led"?
    Answer: Please refer to the definition for "Black Led Organization" in question # 10 above. Please further understand that "Black" refers to race, while Latino refers to ethnicity. Therefore, you would need to consider the race of the Latino board members and not the ethnicity.
  16. Can this funding pay for occupational skills training? If so, is there a cap?
    Answer: Yes. You may pay stipends for required training programs that lead to credentials. Please refer to NOFO, particularly for Category 3 and 4 for additional details. There is no set maximum other that the limits on time. This would be in addition to paid work.
  17. What about staff training costs?
    Answer:  The grant may be used to cover the costs of staff training if that staff training is directly associated with the implementation of this grant.
  18. So if we are serving various counties we still only write one proposal?
    Answer: This is at the discretion of the applicant. The idea is that we do not one organization to submit multiple applications simply because they want to provide multiple program components. If you are serving one area with multiple program components, please submit one application. If you are serving different services areas, this is your call.
  19. Are self-attestations allowed for eligibility purposes?
    Answer:  As a program we are asking that you attempt to document for us ALL eligibility criteria for which a youth meets, for this self-attestation may be acceptable when proof is not possible. HOWEVER, the eligibility requirement is for a youth to meet at least ONE of these items, so this means that you will need to be able to document proof for at least one category.
  20. Is there a maximum amount/hours each youth may be paid in total? For example, minimum paid hours for Category 1 is 180, is there a maximum?
    Answer:  There is not maximum number of hours, only a maximum length of subsidy. In the scenario you describe, the youth may only work a maximum of 3 months (13 weeks) this means that the youth's hours are limited by the number of hours they can get in during that 13 weeks.
  21. Please define the months that will be determined as "Summer Employment".
    Answer:  This will be defined by the provider as to the pre and post work necessary to implement a summer program, but the summer program must include June, July and August for actual employment activities, some programs may begin employment activities in late May depending on the end of the school year. Planning and preparation work may occur prior to actual employment placement - recruitment, etc.
  22. Additional funding which may offset subsidies; are there restrictions as to the types of funding this can be, to allow for more youth to be serviced under the IYIP grant?
    Answer:  You can use funding from outside sources, but you would need to check those other funding sources to determine appropriateness. Please know that there is no match requirement for this grant. The easiest way to reduce overall program cost is to negotiate the length/amount of subsidy with employers and to place youth in unsubsidized employment.
  23. Can you give an example of an incentive award and benchmark?
    Answer: The youth may have a goal in his/her case plan to increase his/her employability skills or achieve a certain level on the employer assessment - if he/she achieves that then they get the incentive. It could be that they complete certain required items in Illinois workNet by an identified Date… Basically, it needs to be an achievement related to case plan goals, incentives cannot be paid for participation or for work. Additional detail regarding incentives can be found in the NOFO.
  24. Does the restriction on Capital purchases apply to materials used for training? A carpentry program may require the purchase of wood, shingles, nails, etc.
    Answer:  These would be considered program materials, supplies. Capital expenditures are further defined in the NOFO and in 2 CFR 200.
  25. Do all partners who would be providing the youth employment opportunities need to be identified and confirmed prior to applying?
    Answer:  No. you need to identify all of those that you have already secured, those that you are currently working with and you can also discuss those you plan to reach out to. Certainly, the more you have secured will help to demonstrate your agency capacity to implement the program and would therefore score higher than an applicant that does not have any secured. It is also expected that providers will always be looking to recruit additional employers and those will always be able to be added to your programs as they materialize.
  26. Do the youth served need to be predominantly Black?
    Answer:  You need to serve the youth in your communities that you are able to identify are in need of these services and meet the eligibility criteria. Those youth with the greatest need. You all know your communities better than we do and you should be able to justify your target population regardless of Race/ethnicity.
  27. Can the organization (mine) be the actual agency in which the youth can be provided these services AND work?
    Answer:  Yes. However there are restrictions/limits on this in terms of Work. Please refer to the descriptions of the program categories in the NOFO and the Job Placements section in the NOFO. 
  28. Can a youth who has already participated, reapply and receive subsidy through the grant?
    Answer:  YES. This is considered a new youth employment program. Prior subsidies earned will not be counted toward the 12-month maximum or the category maximums.
  29. Again, if a youth demonstrates interests/aptitudes for a specific occupation but lacks the necessary credential/license, may we use funds from this funding to pay for the occupational skills training? If so, what would be the maximum amount paid? Would this be in addition to the paid work experience?
    Answer:  Yes. You may pay stipends for required training programs that lead to credentials. Please refer to NOFO, particularly for Category 3 and 4 for additional details. There is no set maximum other that the limits on time. This would be in addition to paid work.
  30. Are stipends taxed?
    Answer: Yes.
  31. What is considered to be the date of enrollment? The date they are put into IL Worknet or the date they complete the assessments?
    Answer: The youth will submit an application into IL workNet, the provider will review and determine eligibility and enroll the youth into the program.
  32. If a youth is not placed within the required timeframe, for whatever reasons beyond the orgs control, meaning it's employers purview, can youths time allowed for trainings, educations, apprenticeships, or whatever category, be extended?
    Answer: Yes. There is no timeframe limit on a youth's participation in work readiness and other support service activities.
  33. Suppose you have a HS graduate and there's an apprenticeship, but the youth needs employability skill sessions in order to make them ready for the apprenticeship, can they start in summer program and then transition into Category II for apprenticeship program?
    Answer: Yes. If you have both categories in your grant. Or they could transition from another providers program. You may also provide those skills and readiness activities under category II.
  34. Can we apply for multiple categories?
    Answer: YES.
  35. Is this geared toward 4-year university or focused primarily vocational?
    Answer: Primarily Work, and Vocational, Training, and Apprenticeship programs.
  36. Are the costs allowable for GED exams?
    Answer: YES
  37. Is there a ceiling on consultants? Is there a cap on consultant hourly wage?
    Answer:  Please refer to 2 CFR 200.
  38. How stringent on the 20-page limit on the application narrative?
    Answer:  If you are slightly over, reviewers will still read. Scores are likely be reflective of this. Please know that applications will be single spaced so there should be sufficient space and if applying for multiple categories, additional pages are allowed. Please refer to the NOFO for additional information on page limits. An Application cover page will NOT be counted toward page limit. Pages will begin with the Executive Summary Page.
  39. Are background checks allowable costs? Are pre-award costs allowable?
    Answer:  Yes and YES. Please refer to the NOFO for additional details on per-award. Funding Section.
  40. Do we need a waiting list if a youth drops out to fill that slot?
    Answer: No. But you should have a plan for replacing youth that may drop out of the program for whatever reason or secure employment etc. quicker than anticipated. We want to serve as many youth as possible in your quality programs.
  41. Would Daley College qualify for the 2-semester institution?
    Answer:  They should but it would depend on the credential training program.
  42. Does Category 3 have a pre-apprentice program?
    Answer:  Yes, it is under Optional program services as it would be intended to prepare a youth for acceptance into an actual registered/non-registered apprenticeship program.
  43. Can a community college submit alone for Category 4 with industry / job center partners?
    Answer:  Yes, a Community College would be an eligible applicant under Category 4 and would be required to partner with a community-based organization.
  44. Are board members or relatives of board members eligible to apply?
    Answer: Yes. However, additional precautions must be taken to ensure that the youth is in fact eligible, part of your target population and that they were NOT afforded any preference in regards to acceptance into the program or job placement etc..
  45. If we are working with another youth grant under DCEO is it possible to enroll them in this program when they are finished with that youth program? Being careful to not double dip.
    Answer:  If they are eligible, they could be enrolled. This does not necessarily mean they should be enrolled, that will be your decision and should be based on need and other criteria you have set for your program.
  46. What is the expected number of youth to be served in any of the categories?
    Answer:  This is up to you. There are no minimums or maximums. You need to propose what you are confident you are able to do. We will hold you accountable for meeting your projections. You need to also ensure that you are proposing a cost-effective program.
  47. Do the signed MOUs have to be completed at the time of application, or can they be completed later at placement?
    Answer:  No. You need to provide those that you have already secured, those that you are currently working with and you can also discuss those you plan to include. Certainly, the more you have secured will help to demonstrate your agency capacity to implement the program and would therefore score higher than an applicant that does not have any secured. It is also expected that providers will always be looking to recruit additional employers and those will always be able to be added to your programs as they materialize.
  48. Please explain further if youth must Complete all Illinois Worknet exercises to be able to receive support expenses such as bus passes, wages or stipends.
    Answer:  No. Supports can be provided while a youth is completing those activities.
  49. Is there a maximum grant amount? How may grants do you expect to fund?
    Answer: No. We expect to fund approximately 50 providers
  50. Can you provide more detail on what is required for the EEP? If we are a Black-Led organization serving 100% Black youth do we still need to complete an EEP?
    Answer:  Everyone must develop/submit an EEP. Please refer to Appendix M. This Appendix provides detail and a format for providing the EEP.
  51. When will applicants be notified if approved for funding?
    Answer:  Applicants should receive notification the week of the 16th. This is a goal and it may be later than this week.
  52. Hi we are also looking to do our program in the summer. How do we go about staying in contact with you all so that we can be considered for funding for that?
    Answer:  If you want to implement a Summer employment program under this grant, you must submit an application now under Category I, even though the program will not begin until NEXT Summer.
  53. How many applications do you expect to receive?
    Answer:  It is difficult to estimate but based on the number of organizations registering for the July 15th Bidders Conference, we may receive over 100 applications.
  54. We do not ask our employees to disclose their race and therefore cannot demonstrate 50% black led organization. However, we do know that we are minority white. Do you have recommendations?
    Answer:  You may consider sharing the opportunity and need with the Board, you may have some that volunteer to share and as long as you exceed the 50% mark you would not need everyone to disclose. You would be able to explain all of this in your submission.
  55. Is there a form, format, or instrument that applicants must use with their partners? Subcontract, MOU, Partnership agreement etc.?
    Answer:  No. You may use your own instruments. The NOFO provides some guidance as it relates to employer partners.

July 20, 2020:

  1. Question: I have a question in regards to one of the Appendixes, specifically Appendix F - Service Delivery Site information. On the very bottom of that document it asks, "Estimate the number of youths to receive services through this site in FY21." Is that question specific to the IYIP Program or the agency's overall activities.
    Answer: The question is specific to the number of youth in IYIP.

July 21, 2020:

  1. Question: Will there be another TA session?
    Answer: No. But the recording of the session previously held is posted on the DHS website in this Q&A section. Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/3962046578500160523
  2. Question: Was the TA session on July 15th recorded? if so, could you send me the link?
    Answer: Yes. The recording of the session previously held is posted on the DHS website in this Q&A section. Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/3962046578500160523
  3. Question: Under Job placement Category II,III, and IV, The explanation states "When the youth's wage is being temporarily subsidized by the grant, the provider may assume the role of employer of record for the employed youth and process a payroll request every two weeks during this subsidized period if this is formally agreed to in writing by both the employer and provider and the job meets all of the following criteria: Bullet Point 5 says, "The subsidy / stipend does not exceed the maximum allowed under the grant for the employment area" However bullet point 12 says. "The youth's wage is not subsidized by IYIP funds." Please explain.
    Answer: The bullet point you referenced is under a heading specific to the scenario in which the youth is employed directly by the grantee - the Grantee is the actual employer. The other information you reference refers to situations where youth are being employed outside of the grantee organization.
  4. Question: Category II says "Youth Apprenticeship - A program for youth (ages 16 to 24) currently enrolled in secondary education or pursuing a high school equivalency, including those with disabilities. For clarification the ONLY youth eligible for an apprentice program in category II are those youth currently in secondary education or pursuing a secondary equivalence?
    Answer: Correct. Youth not in school with no interest in pursuing a HS degree or equivalent, would not be eligible for a Youth Apprenticeship. They would however be eligible if they were working toward a GED, for example - this expense can be paid and supported with grant funds. The youth would however be eligible for a Pre-Apprenticeship program and other types of opportunities.
  5. Question: Appendix G: Are you requesting a DATA form such as the PPR that we use or have created to collect the data or are we to complete Appendix G with projected numbers?
    Answer: This appendix is informational and is not intended to solicit data as part of the application process. This is data that will be collected during the course of the grant. Most if not all will be reported through quarterly data reports and much will be tracked through Illinois workNet.
  6. Question: Appendix H: Are you requesting us to demonstrate how we execute the Essential Employability Skills?
    Answer: This appendix is informational and is intended to help inform your application/proposed program as the Essential Employability Skills is a required element of your program.
  7. Question: Appendix I: Are you requesting us to show that the organization has an account set up with Casey Life skills and give an explanation on how we use the site for our participants?
    Answer: This appendix is informational and is intended to help inform your application/proposed program as Casey Life Skills is a required element of your program.
  8. Question: Funding Opportunity Program Field: What number goes into this field?
    Answer: 21-444-80-2377-01.

July 24, 2020:

  1. Question: In the IYIP application, is Attachment 10 (Service Delivery Site Information Form) to be filled out by the applicant agency providing services only - or do we also fill out this form for all partnering worksites, too?
    Answer: This form would be completed for any service delivery site regardless of whether or not it is a partner organization. This would not include employers; they are reported in a separate worksite form.
  2. Question: Can I obtain a list of recipients of the former Illinois summer youth employment program in the Chicago and Cook County? We are new to state-funded programs and we would like to talk to some of the program leaders who have experience submitting such an application.
    Answer: A list of current youth employment providers can be found on the GOMB website at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/GATA/Grants/SitePages/CSFA.aspx
  3. Question: Our target area is participants who attend high schools in District 215, approximately 3,000 students, as our service area. Would we collect data for the areas that the district serves? Answer: Yes
  4. Question: Our group is a Black state-registered Not-For-Profit and GATA registered organization. However, we have not received our 501-C3 status yet. Barring the 501C-3, will our organization meet the criteria as a Black-owned organization?
    Answer: A Black-led organization for purposes of this application is defined by the make-up of the Board of Directors and the Organizations' leadership and management being more than 50% Black Please also refer to questions # 10 and 15 above.
  5. Question: Could you provide some clarity as to some examples of Indirect costs that pertain to this NOFO. Also, a verification of the allowed percent for the Indirect Cost of the entire Agreement. Answer: Please refer to the NOFO for additional information regarding Indirect Costs. Section C, Eligibility Information & Grant Funding Requirements, 8D Indirect Cost Requirements. Further, by definition, Indirect Costs are costs not associated with the grant. Program and administrative costs that can be directly associated with the grant would be considered direct program or direct administrative costs.
  6. Question: For Category I can youth work throughout the year a 13-week session and be counted or do we only count work done in the summer months?
    Answer: Only the Summer Months
  7. Question: Is the Budget Narrative included in the proposals page limit (20 pages + 5 pages for each additional category applying for)?
    Answer: No
  8. Question: We would like to ask a question regarding the IYIP grant that is due Aug 3,2020. On the first technical assistance call it was stated that the program description narrative should be written as if there was no COVID 19 procedures required. On the technical assistance call on 7/15/2020 there was no mention if this is still the directive. Can you please advise us on this?
    Answer: The directive that was in place previously under the former NOFO is not in place under this current NOFO. Applicants should prepare applications and projections based on the current state which includes the realities of COVID-19.

July 27, 2020:

  1. Question: For Category II, wages may be subsidized for hours worked for long term employment for a period not to exceed 39 weeks. For a Youth that is placed in long term employment subsequent to October 1, 2020, the maximum wage subsidy period of 39 weeks would end subsequent to June 30, 2021. Would this grant cover Youth wage subsidies for long term employment that fall within the 39-week maximum subsidy period but are due for hours worked by the Youth after June 30,2021?
    Answer: The question is unclear. I believe you are asking if the 39-week subsidy can cross state fiscal years and/or grant years if the period being subsidized cannot be completed during the grant period. - YES, it can, however, the grant may only pay for wages incurred during the period of the grant. Example: youth hired receiving 20 weeks of subsidized during the FY21 grant period and 19 weeks of subsidies during the FY22 grant period; funding from the FY21 grant period would cover wages earned for the first 20 weeks and the FY22 grant would cover wages earned for the final 19 weeks.
  2. Question: Similarly, the grant performance standards are based on the percent of youth placed in employment that continue in unsubsidized long-term employment at case closure. Is the date of case closure specific to each Youth based on the date the Youth has transitioned from subsidized to non-subsidized employment status, even if that date is subsequent to June 30,2021?
    Answer: Yes
  3. Question: Is the grant period September to June or September to August? Are the various categories designated to begin and end at different times? For example, Category I-Summer Only to begin May 2021 and end August 2021? Category II, III & IV begin Sept and end May 2021? Is IYIP one grant that begins Sept and end Aug 2021? If I do not write for Category I, when does the grant end?
    Answer: Categories II, III and IV are year-round programs. The initial contract is projected to begin September 1 and will run through June 30, 21. Subsequent grant periods will run from July 1, 21 through June 30, 22 and July 1, 22 through June 30, 2023. Category 1 programs will begin late Spring / early Summer of 2021 and will cross 2 separate grant years. This will also be the case for Summer 2022.
  4. Question: When the employment is fully or partially subsidized, the written agreement must delineate the conditions and terms of successful probationary employment, thereby ensuring that when these terms & conditions are met, the youth's employment may continue under the employer unsubsidized. Will that be required for Category 1 proposals?
    Answer: No. Employers will not be required to commit to long-term employment under Category 1.
  5. Question: on the website it states that the grant period will begin on September 1, 2020 and will continue through June 30, 2021. Our organization is preparing a Category 1 Proposal for Summer Employment, so my question is, will youth need to complete the 180-hour minimum before the end of 6/30/2021? Or can they continue to work towards the 180 requirements during July / August?
    Answer: They can continue to work toward that requirement under the subsequent (next) grant period that will begin 7/1/2021.
  6. Question: Our plan is to serve 50 youth in the IYIP program the first year. Depending on the status of Covid-19, we may have one cohort of 25 start the program in October and the second cohort of 25 register in Dec and start in Jan 2021. Would that be acceptable as a back-up plan based on the Covid-19 Phase in place this fall?
    Answer: We are unable to provide advice.
  7. Question: Has there been any expansion of the counties included in the Illinois Youth Investment NOFO, namely Sangamon County?
    Answer: Sangamon County is not an eligible service area.
  8. Are virtual worksites allowable for youth employment opportunities under Category I - Short-term, Summer Employment? Or do they need to be in-person opportunities?
    Answer:  Work readiness and other supportive services may be provided virtually. The application is silent with regard to employment as it is assumed that employment is in person however, because of Covid, exceptions may be considered if allowed by the actual employer, and if other employees of that employer are also being offered similar remote work opportunities, and if that remote work is designed to ensure appropriate supervision and training will be in place. If such remote employment is being proposed in the application, please describe in detail do that reviewers/staff can assess to determine appropriateness of the remote work experience.