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Budgeting and Leveraging Dollars

Budgeting for Your Efforts

Sector initiatives must plan ahead for the financial support necessary for its activities, products and success. For each phase of a sector initiative, a budget should be estimated and funding secured. Consider the following simple phases of a sector initiative budget:

Planning Phase Implementation Phase Ongoing Operations
  • Staffing
  • Start-up meeting costs
  • Regional industry analysis
  • Staffing
  • Product Development
  • Service implementation
  • Marketing and Messaging
  • Staffing
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Expansion
  • Marketing and Messaging

Customizing existing budget templates can be a useful tool.

Leveraging Private and Public Dollars

Sector initiatives make it possible for multiple funding streams to be blended or leveraged simply due to the nature of the diverse partnership. This summary from the State Sector Strategies Issue Brief identifies more than a dozen different funding sources for sector initiatives, and creative partnership have identified even more.

The most effective way to ensure sustainable support for the initiative is to show results that each partner, public and private, can relate to directly. This requires some idea of what really matters to each partner.

  • For public partners, aligning the work with how their funding streams may be structured will make a difference in how they can add to pooled or shared funding. Each system has its own performance requirements that control how their funding is spent or allocated. Systems also have some flexible funding. If leaders within those systems feel the partnership is truly valuable to their individual missions, they may be more willing to contribute these funds. Working with each partner to work through these details is part of the role of the intermediary in managing the partnership.
  • If employers can feel that their skilled labor needs can be met through the activities of the partnership, even if in the long-term, they may be more willing to offer cash and in-kind support. This often comes in the form of paid on-the-job training or paid time for training off-site. Employer contributions can also take place using an employer dues system, a fee-for-service system, or an employer match requirement.

Some of the more unique funding strategies include labor management partnerships, such as job training trusts, use of Food Stamp Employment Training (FSET) funds, or arbitrage funding such as a payroll tax bond set aside for worker training.

Other funding sources include: state and local workforce investment boards, economic development agencies, community colleges, social service agencies, employee assistance programs, ABE providers, ESL providers, local and national foundations (know their budget cycles!), or Governor's workforce investment discretionary funds. Keep in mind that each state and region will have different funding opportunities available. Some states have developed funding lists or maps to help their regions understand the possible funding streams available to them.

These powerpoint presentations describe some real-world examples of funding strategies for sustainability.