Workforce and contractor development

Resources to help applicants, grantees, and contractors plan and implement a PCEF Community Responsive Grant project that focuses on workforce and contractor development.

Grant application resources

The following information was intended to help applicants and grantees develop their projects and provide guidance in requesting appropriate funding for proposals.

Workforce and contractor development

This funding area includes projects that diversify and expand the pool of workers and contractors that produce goods or services that reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. There are three general areas of work within the workforce and contractor development funding area:

  • Workforce training includes pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and other job training programs that help to diversify the green workforce with a focus on programs with direct job placement and workers in the construction trades involved in climate projects, e.g., building energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Contractor development includes technical assistance and other support, such as business grants, to help develop, build, and grow diverse contractors and businesses that provide climate-focused goods and services.
  • Youth education and exposure includes youth education and engagement that increases knowledge of, and interest in, careers in climate work.

Funding allocations

Grant funds can be used to pay for staff time, contracted work, purchase of equipment, materials and supplies, costs associated with fulfilling program requirements (e.g., additional insurance, reporting), and other items needed to complete the project.

Total expected funding: $5 to $7 million.

Limits for workforce training or contractor development-focused projects:

  • Large grant cap: $2 million
  • Small grant cap: $500,000

Limits for youth education and exposure-focused projects:

  • Grant cap: $400,000

Types of grants

There are two types of grants: planning grants and implementation grants. Below, we describe these in the context of workforce and contractor development grants.

Planning grants. These grants support organizations in planning needed to develop a full project proposal. Planning grants cannot be used for costs associated with project implementation activities. Receiving a planning grant does not guarantee future project funding.

  • Eligible activities may include research and learning, curriculum development and consultation, community outreach and education, and collaboration and partnership building.

Implementation grants. These grants can be used for projects that that address climate change and advance racial and social justice.

  • Eligible activities may include pre-apprenticeship training programs, contractor support and technical assistance to start-up, pivot or grow, or exposure and education for youth related to climate jobs.

Scoring criteria specific to workforce and contractor development grants

In addition to scoring criteria that apply to all PCEF grants including organizational information, team experience and qualifications, likelihood to succeed, etc., there are a couple of criteria that are specific to workforce and contractor development applications.

Program will support one or more PCEF goals of:

  1. Diversifying workforce in the green economy through appropriate training, job placement and support.

    Full points - Program curriculum is certified by an entity that is widely recognized in the relevant industry, e.g., BOLI, Building Performance Institute.

    Note that partial points are available for uncertified programs and curriculum that prioritize and actively ensures workforce diversity, establishes partnerships with diverse communities, organizations, and educational institutions, and has established partnerships for placement of graduates.
  2. Diverse contractor start-up, stabilization, growth, pivot in businesses focused on climate related goods and services.

    Full points - Program supports delivery of climate related goods and services. Program thoroughly evaluates business needs and the aspirations of the owners, delivering a full suite of tailored business assistance, support, and grant funding. The program aims to broaden the base of contractors in the green economy, prioritizing beneficiaries from PCEF's priority communities.
  3. Education/exposure goal – improved youth knowledge of, and readiness for, careers in climate work.

    Full points - Program offers meaningful youth curriculum on climate work and career pathways, examples include hands-on workshops, internships, and mentorship opportunities with industry professionals.

Project will benefit PCEF priority populations.

Full points for projects where all beneficiaries are PCEF priority populations.

Examples of previously funded projects

Workforce and contractor development projects funded in RFPs 1 and 2 can be found by visiting Portland Maps and selecting “Workforce & Contractor Development” under the Grant Types category. However, it is important potential applicants carefully review all criteria as grant and scoring criteria have been updated.

Additional information

What is a Pre-apprenticeship?

A pre-apprenticeship is a preparatory program designed to equip individuals with the foundational skills, knowledge, and experience needed to enter a formal apprenticeship in a specific trade or profession. It encompasses basic skills training, such as essential math and literacy, industry-specific skills relevant to the chosen field, and workplace readiness, including soft skills like communication and teamwork. Safety training is also a key component, ensuring participants understand proper health and safety practices. Additionally, pre-apprenticeships provide guidance and mentorship, along with exposure to the standards and expectations of formal apprenticeships. This helps in smoothing the transition into these programs. These programs offer valuable networking opportunities with employers and industry professionals, setting the stage for future career opportunities. Overall, pre-apprenticeships are crucial for individuals who seek to enter skilled trades but need to bridge the gap between their current abilities and the demands of a formal apprenticeship.

What are existing Pre-apprenticeship programs?

BOLI : Pre-apprenticeship programs : Apprenticeship : State of Oregon

How do I start a BOLI Registered Pre-apprenticeship?

BOLI : Pre-apprenticeship application toolkit