ESP Grant Programs SFP – PY 21-22

Workforce Services Information Notice

Issued: September 16, 2021

The Employment Development Department (EDD), in coordination with the California Workforce Development Board and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, announces the availability of up to $11.5 million in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Governor’s discretionary funds for an Equity and Special Populations (ESP) Solicitation for Proposals (SFP).

This initiative aims to support innovative projects that accelerate equity in employment and develop employment strategies for populations that face significant barriers to employment. Applicants to the ESP program 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.

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.

Proposals must be received by 3 p.m. on Monday, November 1, 2021. An informational webinar will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required. For registration information, email a request to by September 24, 2021. The EDD encourages applicants to submit a notice of intent to apply by October 8, 2021 to To view this SFP, visit the EDD Workforce Development Solicitations for Proposals webpage.

This publication 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.

/s/ NICOLE LAKTASH, Acting Chief
Central Office Workforce Services Division