Grant Seekers

Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work

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Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work (GLOW)

The application period for the GLOW initiative was Friday, March 6, 2020. Golden LEAF anticipates awarding grants for this program in June 2020. Information on this page is for reference only.

The Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work (GLOW) initiative is intended to provide funding to address the urgent workforce issues facing North Carolina. Because North Carolina is experiencing full employment and employers are having difficulty filling positions through traditional workforce development strategies, it is necessary to develop creative strategies to expand the pool of workers available for employment.


North Carolina is currently experiencing low unemployment rates simultaneously with significant job growth. Individually, these indicators paint a positive picture of the current economic environment. Together, however, they present a challenge as business and industry seek to grow the workforce from a limited supply of available workers. It is projected that by 2030 67% of jobs will require a post-secondary degree or credential. On its current trajectory, post-secondary educational attainment will only reach 54%. As such, increasing the number of people in the workforce, especially for jobs requiring a post-secondary degree or credential, is necessary for North Carolina’s economic vitality.

Program Guidelines

To help address these challenges, Golden LEAF has implemented this special workforce development initiative.

  • Close the skills gap by targeting working-age adults who are pursuing work but who face significant barriers to employment, are underemployed, or are experiencing long-term unemployment.
  • Provide opportunity for working-age adults to obtain post-secondary credentials.
  • Increase the skilled workforce.
  • Increase the labor participation rate.
  • Prepare working-age adults for employment in high demand fields in their community or region.
Characteristics of Competitive Proposals

Competitive proposals will demonstrate that the proposed project:

  • Will be part of a creative and comprehensive approach for re-engaging individuals into the workforce by leveraging existing federal, state, and local workforce development resources and by encouraging collaboration among multiple organizations and across sectors.
  • Will identify and assist populations experiencing significant barriers to employment, long-term unemployment and/or underemployment in North Carolina’s tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities that are not adequately served by existing workforce education and development strategies.
  • Will lead to the placement or advancement of participants in permanent, full-time jobs that provide a living wage or wages that meet or exceed the county average.
  • Will clearly address the recruitment, assessment, training, and job placement needs of participants.
  • Will have a strategy to sustain the program after Golden LEAF grant funding ends and will be replicable or scalable.
FAQs and Application Guide

For more details about GLOW, see this link to frequently asked questions.

Grant Terms

Golden LEAF expects to award up to a total of $5 million in grants through GLOW. Individual projects may receive grants of up to $500,000. Grant amounts in this program are expected to range between $250,000 and $500,000. Golden LEAF anticipates awarding grants for this program in June 2020. Grant terms should be no longer than 36 months.

Eligible Expenses

Golden LEAF funds may be used for programmatic/ training costs, student supportive services, outreach, and other direct costs essential for program success. Grant funds may not be used for acquisition of interests in real property or for grant administration.

IMPORTANT: If you submit an application by using the online application form, you should receive an electronic response indicating that the application has been received. If you do not, please contact Golden LEAF immediately by telephone at 888-684-8404. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For more information, send an email to [email protected].

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