Alert: Grants, Loans, and Funding Opportunities for Recreation, Public Safety, and Jobs

IDNR OSLAD and LWCF Grant Program Applications being Accepted

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced applications are being accepted for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant programs beginning on August 1, 2018.

The OSLAD program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public outdoor recreation areas. OSLAD is a matching program that provides an advance payment (for development projects only) that is 50 percent of the grant award amount shortly after the grant agreement is executed. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the remaining costs of an approved project prior to receipt of remaining grant funds. This program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax

The LWCF is a program that utilizes federal dollars to acquire land to be used for outdoor recreation. This program provides up to 50 percent of the certified market value of property acquired to be developed into outdoor recreation areas. No advance payment is allowed on acquisition projects. LWCF is funded nationally by revenue from offshore oil and gas leases.

Both programs are managed in Illinois by the Department of Natural Resources with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums and similar general rules.

The application period opened August 1 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. on October 1, 2018. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at:

Consult the IDNR website at for more information, or call the IDNR Grants main line at (217) 782-7481.

State Fire Marshal and the Illinois Finance Authority Opens Applications for Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs

Fire departments in Illinois that need assistance purchasing emergency vehicles can now apply for a loan through the Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) announced that the application process is now open.

The Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs are designed to assist emergency personnel purchase vehicles they otherwise couldn’t afford. Under the programs, zero interest and low-interest loans are provided to fire departments, fire protection districts or non-profit ambulance services for the purchase of ambulances and fire trucks.

The ambulance loans are available for amounts up to $200,000 and can be repaid over a 10-year period. Fire truck loans are available for amounts up to $350,000 and can be repaid over a 20-year period.

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. In addition, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply.

Since the inception of these programs more than $33 million in loans for fire trucks and $2.5 million in loans for ambulances have been given out to over 200 fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services across the state.

Additional information including the application can be found here:

Completed applications should be submitted to:

Office of the State Fire Marshal

Revolving Loan Programs

1035 Stevenson Drive

Springfield, IL 62703

2018 Apprenticeship Expansion Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity

The State of Illinois has posted a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to fund projects that demonstrate how apprenticeship programs can be developed and administered across workforce, education and economic development organizations throughout the State.

Illinois recognizes apprenticeships are a proven work-based learning strategy connecting individuals to a career pathway. The State increased the number of Registered Apprenticeships from 13,754 in Federal Fiscal Year 2016 to 15,186 in Federal Fiscal Year 2017. Although a solid foundation is in place, Illinois recognizes more resources are required to meet the goal of expanding Registered Apprenticeships 25% by 2020. The purpose of this NOFO is to request proposals from eligible organizations capable of implementing the apprenticeship expansion priorities of Illinois’ Unified State Plan and the Illinois Apprenticeship Committee the support of Apprenticeship Intermediaries and Regional Apprenticeship Navigators.

Apprenticeship Intermediaries

Intermediary organizations act as apprenticeship program sponsors and perform administrative responsibilities such as registering businesses and apprentices, tracking activities, and reporting results. This eases the burden for businesses, particularly small companies that do not have the personnel to execute such tasks. In this model, the Apprenticeship Intermediary sponsors or administers the apprenticeship programs, coordinates with employers to hire apprentices, facilitates the provision of related technical instructions and other components of the program. This NOFO will support Apprenticeship Intermediary activities including the funding of apprenticeship demonstration projects.

Regional Apprenticeship Navigators

A strong apprenticeship program requires building and maintaining effective partnerships between the business, workforce system, and education/training providers. The objective of the Apprenticeship Navigators is to expand apprentice sponsorship by employers and intermediaries in existing and new occupations throughout the state. This NOFO will support business outreach with employers and workforce professionals to expand the use of apprenticeship as a work-based learning strategy.

Eligible costs

It is expected that 4-7 grants of $50,000 to $500,000 will awarded under this NOFO. The goal is to fund 2-3 projects in northern Illinois, 1-2 projects in central Illinois, and 1-2 projects in southern Illinois. Funding awards will correspond with the project’s anticipated outcomes and deliverables. The Department of Commerce may elect to award larger amounts based on strength of application or performance during the grant period. The Department of Commerce expects to award $1-3 Million in Apprenticeship Expansion grants.

Eligible Applicants

The Department of Commerce places special emphasis on partnerships and sustainability within the Governor’s Economic Development Regions (EDRs) throughout the State of Illinois. Applicants should document how the project will impact workforce, education and economic development and be replicated throughout the State (if applicable). Proposals will be accepted from Organizations with the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative pilots and other priority projects are eligible to apply for funding.

Information Sessions & NOFO WEBSITE

The Department will coordinate the information sessions listed below to review the program guidelines and grant application submission requirements. For more information, please visit the NOFO webpage at

NOFO Webinar

August 8, 2018

Date/Time: August 8, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (CDT)

Webinar Link:

Conference Number: 866-803-3878

Register here:

Bidders’ Conferences/Workshops

The workshops will have two sessions:

Session 1 – Apprenticeship Grant Opportunity (10 AM – 12 PM)

Session 2 – Workforce Grants 101 (1 PM – 3 PM)

Chicago, IL – August 14, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Bilandic Building, 160 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60601

Register here:

Naperville, IL – August 15, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

NIU Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563

Register here:

Marion, IL – August 21, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

State Regional Office Building, 2309 West Main Street, Marion, IL 62959

Register here:

Collinsville, IL – August 22, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Illinois State Police, 1102 Eastport Plaza, Collinsville, IL 62234

Register here:

Springfield, IL – August 23, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Lincoln Land Community College, Montgomery Hall

SIUC Center for Workforce Development

2450 Foundation Drive, Suite 100 Springfield, IL 62703

Register here:

Rockford, IL – August 29, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Regional Design Center, 315 North Main Street, Rockford 61101

Register here:

Please feel free to forward this to others who may be interested.