Equity and Special Populations Program Year 2021-22 Solicitation for Proposals

Portal ID:
Closed (43 total applications submitted)
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



Applicants will design, develop, and implement projects that accelerate equity in employment and tailor re-employment strategies for special populations and residents of geographic locations most impacted by the novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19). The projects will create effective linkages with California's employer and workforce community, with a focus on in-demand industries that provide quality jobs with livable-wages.


The Employment Development Department (EDD), in coordination with the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), announces the availability of up to $11.5 million in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Governor’s discretionary funds for the Equity and Special Populations (ESP) Program Year 2021-22 (PY 21-22) Solicitation for Proposals (SFP).

Applicants may propose to serve one or more of the following special populations: English language learners, the homeless and housing insecure, immigrants, justice-involved individuals, people with disabilities, veterans, youth, or other target populations in geographic locations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  These funds will support projects that build meaningful and sustainable industry investment and partnerships, provide work-based learning opportunities, increase equitable access to quality jobs, leverage other program funding, and provide supportive services for California’s most vulnerable populations.  

Applicants will braid funds and resources, collaborate with postsecondary education providers, engage employers, and draw on the expertise of community-based organizations (CBOs), workforce intermediaries, training providers, and other partners to design programs tailored to regional population and workforce needs.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are public and private non-profit organizations, private for-profit organizations, Local Workforce Development Areas, education and training providers, tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations. Individuals are not eligible to apply. 

Reregistration deadline: Last day for applicants to preregister for ESP PY 21-22 SFP Informational Webinar is September 24, 2021. 

ESP PY 21-22 SFP Informational Webinar: October 1, 2021 10 AM- 12 PM.

Notice of Intent to Apply: Each potential applicant is strongly encouraged to notify the California Employment Development Department of its' intent to apply by sending a short email message with the applicant organization's name and the special population(s) that will be served. The email should be addressed to WSBGrants.edd.ca.gov by October 8, 2021.

The ESP SFP is supported by the United States Department of Labor as part of a financial assistance award totaling $11.5 million with 0 percent financed from non-governmental sources. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Local workforce development areas, education and training providers, private non-profit organizations, private for- profit organizations, tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations are eligible to apply. Subrecipients from program year 2020-21 are ineligible to serve the same population in PY 21-22 but may apply to serve other populations. 

Eligible Geographies:

Other population(s) in the chosen geographic location disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible to apply. Applicants choosing to serve other special populations must provide justification and supporting evidence to clearly and convincingly demonstrate disproportionate impact by COVID-19.

Matching Funding Requirement:

Applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum 40 percent cash or in-kind match from other sources. The required match is based on the total amount of grant funding requested. Applicants are encouraged to braid funds, leverage human capital, and utilize other resources to maximize the success of the project.  

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
December 2021
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
1/1/2022- 12/31/2024

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
20 – 30
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Yes ( see Description for details )
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • Federal and State

Funding Source Notes:

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Governor’s Discretionary Fund. 

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advance(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Grants will be provided through subgrants with ten percent of the total award available to begin project implementation. The EDD may request that the contracts incorporate changes to the original project proposals. After any necessary negotiations, the EDD will mail the finalized contract to the subrecipients for signature and release the remaining funds.

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Tuyen Tran, 1-916-657-5280, WSBGrants@edd.ca.gov