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Release Date

June 21, 2019

Department of Education Announces Availability of Funding under the “Strengthening Institutions Program”; Encourages Projects Addressing Work-Based Learning Experiences (Including Apprenticeship) under Competitive Preference Priority

The Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to help them become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

The Department of Education has identified $26,300,000 for investment in an expected 56 awards to schools under SIP.  The award ceiling of $550,000.

This notice contains two competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority.  The Competitive Preference Priority 1 is “Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills.”Projects that are designed to address providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of the Workforce Investment Act of 2014).

Projects that are designed to address providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of the Workforce Investment Act of 2014).

The solicitation is available here

Applications are due by June 19

Release Date

June 21, 2019

Jobs for the Future Announces Launch of “Corporate Action Platform”

Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on the emerging field of Pay for Success (PFS) financing (also called a Social Impact Bond (SIB)) in the United States. Social Finance provides advisory, social investment, and active performance management services to public- and private-sector partners seeking to drive more resources to social programs that deliver proven results to those in need. The organization has offices in Boston, MA, Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA.

Jobs for the Future today (June 20) announced the launch of an ambitious framework to define a new category of employers adopting talent strategies that make a positive impact on workers, communities, and the bottom line. Developed with support from JPMorgan Chase, JFF's Corporate Action Platform is designed to equip companies with evidence-based strategies they can use to boost economic mobility among frontline, entry-level, and low- and middle-skilled workers who are at risk of being displaced by artificial intelligence and automation.

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Release Date

June 21, 2019

National Science Foundation Awards Second Round of Funding for Big Data Hubs

Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on the emerging field of Pay for Success (PFS) financing (also called a Social Impact Bond (SIB)) in the United States. Social Finance provides advisory, social investment, and active performance management services to public- and private-sector partners seeking to drive more resources to social programs that deliver proven results to those in need. The organization has offices in Boston, MA, Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding a second round of funding for Big Data (BD) Hubs – data science community centers where academics, community leaders, local and state government representatives, regional businesses, and local maker groups come together to solve grand challenges of regional importance.

These awards $4 million each to four hubs over four years, for a total investment of $16 million. This is double the budget for the first round of awards, which were made in 2015.

One Big Data Hub is located in each census region (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West). Three of the four are multi-institution collaborations.

Each BD Hub serves as a thought leader and convening force on social and economic challenges that are unique to the region – for example, fresh water in the West, agriculture in the Midwest, coastal flooding in the South, and aging urban infrastructure in the Northeast. However, despite their regional focus, the BD Hubs will coordinate to act as a single national body as needed to respond to issues that cross regions, such as the U.S. transportation infrastructure and workforce development.

A new requirement under this round of funding stipulates that each BD Hub maintain a seed fund as part of its project budget. This seed fund will provide small start-up grants to pilot early feasibility studies for innovative new solutions to grand challenges of importance to the region in which the hub is located. NSF intends that this nimble mechanism will enable better representation of each regional hub’s constituents.

Past accomplishments:

  • The South BD Hub organized the Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry and Government (PEPI-G) which helps defray travel costs for early career researchers to collaborate with industry or government partners. 
  • The California Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge, led by the West DB Hub in partnership with State of California Governor’s office and area non-profits, is a series of community activities designed to demonstrate the value of open data, with teams building tools that help generate insight from data about drinking water.

Northeast Hub: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $4 million dollars to researchers at Columbia University to continue operation of the Northeast NSF Big Data (BD) Hub – a data science community center where academics, community leaders, local and state government representatives, regional businesses, and local maker groups come together to solve grand challenges of regional importance. This award builds on a previous award made in 2015, scaling their activities to address important issues in the northeastern United States, including aging infrastructure, an aging population, and substantial socioeconomic, educational, health, and digital divides.

West Hub: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $4 million dollars to researchers at the University of California Berkeley, University of California San Diego and the University of Washington to continue operation of the West NSF Big Data (BD) Hub – a data science community center where academics, community leaders, local and state government representatives, regional businesses, and local maker groups come together to solve grand challenges of regional importance. This award builds on a previous award made in 2015, scaling their activities to address important issues in the western United States, including natural resources and hazards, metro data science, health and medicine, data-enabled discovery and learning, data sharing, cloud computing, and responsible data science.

Midwest Hub: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $4 million dollars to researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Indiana University and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor to continue operation of the Midwest NSF Big Data (BD) Hub – a data science community center where academics, community leaders, local and state government representatives, regional businesses, and local maker groups come together to solve grand challenges of regional importance. This award builds on a previous award made in 2015, scaling their activities to address important issues in the midwestern United States, including digital agriculture; smart, connected, and resilient communities; water quality; advanced materials and manufacturing; health and biomedicine; data science education and training; and cyberinfrastructure and data access and use.

South Hub: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $4 million dollars to researchers at Georgia Tech and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill to continue operation of the South NSF Big Data (BD) Hub – a data science community center where academics, community leaders, local and state government representatives, regional businesses, and local maker groups come together to solve grand challenges of regional importance. This award builds on a previous award made in 2015, scaling their activities to address important issues in the southern United States, including data science cyberinfrastructure and cybersecurity; health analytics, with a focus on identifying and mitigating health disparities; environment and hazards, such as hurricanes and flooding along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; advanced materials and manufacturing; synthetic smart cities; and education and workforce training, with particular emphasis on increasing the participation of women and minority-serving institutions, and promoting data literacy at all levels and across all disciplines.

Updated: June 21, 2019