Home About Us Contact Us


Print Print Friendly

TAP Accelerator: Upskill-Backfill Grants



$2 million Upskill-Backfill Demonstration Projects--Deadline Feb. 28

The Workforce Board has issued a Request for Proposals for organizations to apply for competitive grants to fund demonstration projects. Projects must align with the Governor's administrative priorities, specifically the use of the"Upskill-Backfill" strategy model.


Governor Inslee has provided approximately $3 million from federal workforce funding to accelerate implementation of Talent and Prosperity for All (TAP), Washington's workforce plan. These dollars are paying for competitive grants, planning, and committee work.

What is Upskill-Backfill?

This model joins public and business resources to improve the workplace skills of both incumbent workers and new hires--and creates a pathway to gainful employment and wage progression to jobseeking Washingtonians, particularly low-income residents and those with other disadvantages.

Additional funding set aside to help launch plan

The Governor has also designated $360,000 to help support six TAP implementation committees.


Additionally, Each WDC has $25,000 available to assist in implementing the TAP plan. Please continue below for a note from the Executive Director of the Workforce Board.

Dear WDC Directors,

I am pleased to send you the attached application for funds to support local Upskill-Backfill planning. These WIOA discretionary funds are made available by Governor Inslee through his TAP Accelerator Initiative.

WIOA has provided new flexibility to support worker "upskilling", while broadening talent pipeline development services to help more people, especially those with barriers, to advance to economic self-sufficiency. These grants are available to help you work with a broad cross-section of local partners to establish Upskill-Backfill practices within existing structures in your local area. Your efforts will then help the Workforce Board as it develops a framework for sustainable Upskill-Backfill practices across Washington. You are asked to review Gov. Inslee's considerations for an Upskill-Backfill strategy, included in the application, as you plan to take advantage of these funds and aim to make changes to local practices when possible.

Applications may be submitted by individual WDCs or consortia of WDCs, for no more than $25,000 per WDC. Applications are due by January 31, 2017, but may be submitted at any point up until then. All funds must be fully expended by June 30, 2017. The application is designed to be straight forward with a quick turn-around. Once approved by Workforce Board staff, funds will be added to ESD-WDC master contracts via a modification.

Please submit applications via e-mail to Patrick Woods at Patrick.Woods@wtb.wa.gov .


Eleni Papadakis, Executive Director
WA Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
128 10th Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98504


Staff contact: Patrick Woods, (360) 709-4622

Back to TAP Main Page



Upskill Backfill workshops, application materials

Those interested in applying for a competitive grant through the $2M Upskill-Backfill Project were able to participate in two workshops. Below are documents designed to help applicants, including a recording from the January workshop, and FAQs.





Watch the video: Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis provides a narrated PowerPoint overview on distributing these funds.


The Workforce Board is committed to providing employees and the public, including individuals with disabilities, access to its information and services. For information regarding documents, handouts, other questions, or for people needing special accommodation, please contact Rebecca Reule at (360) 709-4640 or Rebecca.Reule@wtb.wa.gov.





Last Modified 2/16/2017   |   Contact Webmaster   |   Privacy Statement   |   Site Map   |   Employment   |   Access Washington   |   Register to Vote