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Work Based Learning Grant

Work-Based Learning is an education strategy that provides students with experiences to apply academic and technical skills and develop employability skills. This strategy looks different for each grade band: elementary, middle, and high school. As an initiative created by Governor Haslam’s Rural Task Force, the Work-Based Learning (WBL) Grants will be awarded to projects that promote community-led work-based learning to improve career awareness and readiness of students and improve local/regional talent pipeline. These projects can be new or expansions of existing programs.

Online Resources

Application Review Board Members: Tennessee Departments of Economic and Community Development, Education, Board of Regents, Labor and Workforce Development, and Tennessee Employers

TNECD WBL Grant Program Manager:
Ann Thompson, Director, Workforce Development, 615-913-0842


Grant at a Glance

  • $25,000 Maximum Grant
  • Minimum of 40 grants to be awarded
  • All grant related activities must be completed April 30, 2019
  • Applicant must be the Director of Schools
  • Fiscal agent must be Local Education Agency (LEA)
  • One submission accepted per LEA

Reimbursement Based Grant: All funds must be expended by the grantee before payment from TNECD will be made.
** An intentional effort will be made to ensure grants are distributed among the tiers and geographically.

Download our incentive tier map to determine your match level.

Tier 1: $6,250 (total project cost = $31,250)
Tier 2: $4,412 (total project cost = $29,412)
Tier 3: $2,778 (total project cost = $27,778)
Tier 4: $1,316 (total project cost = $26,316)

* An intentional effort will be made to ensure all tiers receive an equal number of awarded projects.


Application Checklist

  • Application
  • Two Partner Letters
    • Mayor's Office (city or county)
    • Economic Development Agency
    • Local Workforce Investment Boards
    • Industry Associations
  • Letter of Commitment by Employer Sponsor


Eligible: Projects must be based on local labor market information, clearly connecting the proposed project with occupations available or expected to be available within the region. Extra consideration will be given to innovative, robust partnerships across grade bands.
Examples (not limited to):

  • Industry and Career Awareness
    • Workplace Tour
    • Guest Speaker
    • Career Fair
    • Visit Parents at Work
  • Career Exploration
    • Informational Interview
    • Job Shadow
  • Career Preparation
    • Student-run Enterprise
    • Technical Mentoring Through Online Interactions
    • Service Learning and Social Enterprises with Partners
    • Compensated Internship Connected to Curriculum
  • Career Training
    • Internship Required for Credential or Related to Entry to Occupation
    • Pre-apprenticeship Program
    • Clinical Experience
    • On the Job Training

Not Eligible:

  • Office supplies or basic operating costs
  • Medical, accounting, legal fees, or administrative salaries
  • Prizes or prize money, scholarships, awards, plaques, t-shirts, uniforms, certificates, or any other promotional items

TNECD reserves the right to reject any project inconsistent with the program goals. 
If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact the grant program manager.

Guidelines for Funding

In order to score the maximum points possible, the project proposal must include information describing how the project meets eligibility requirements with detailed goals for measuring project metrics and increasing work-based learning opportunities for students.

This is a reimbursement based grant. Guidelines for reimbursements will be provided to awarded projects. Monthly reports are a requirement of funding.

Scoring Algorithm:

  • Executive Summary (max 5)
  • Project Potential for Impact (max 20)
  • Innovation, Goals and Strategies (max 15)
  • Alignment of Project with Local Labor Market Information (max 15)
  • Project Outputs and Outcomes for Program Participants (max 20)
  • Sustainability (max 10)
  • Budget (max 15)


January 8, 2018

Application Available


January 11, 2018

Informational Webinar 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST - Click here to register
Additional webinars will be scheduled as needed
January 24, 2018 Application questions due to  
January 31, 2018 Applications Due by 4:00 p.m. CST  
February, 2018 Announcements  
May 1, 2018 Programs Activities Begin  
May 31, 2019 Program Activities Conclude  


The following attachments must accompany the application:


The application period has closed.