Renewable Energy Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) Grant Opportunity

Closed May 17, 2024, 12:00 AM


The Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) is a short-term training program focused on Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), which educates and prepares participants for career opportunities in energy-efficient and sustainable technologies. Program participants receive an industry-recognized credential, a paid work-based learning experience; and support with finding permanent employment with industry partners.


RENEW has successfully graduated seven cohorts of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning trainees. The program seeks to expand its training portfolio to advance additional in-demand and emerging occupations in the sustainable energy industry. Competitive submissions will be evaluated on skills training, participant certification, career development, internship placement, and ultimately, job placement and retention metrics. This grant opportunity represents a competitive process where a contract may be awarded to a single qualified respondent or to multiple qualified respondents. The services outlined in this scope of work will be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Strategic Objectives

The strategic objectives of this grant opportunity are to:

  • Create and enhance career paths in clean energy and sustainable technologies.
  • Promote economic equity among Charlotte residents by connecting jobseekers to in-demand career opportunities.

Target Industries and Occupations

RENEW is soliciting occupational training proposals that align with the following clean energy sectors and related occupations. The occupational training list is non-exhaustive.

Clean Energy Training Sectors

  • Clean Vehicles.
    • Charging infrastructure, manufacturing and service.
  • Construction/real estate.
    • Building automation and facilities management.
  • Energy Efficiency.
    • Building retrofitting, heat pump.
  • Renewable energy.
    • Solar applications
  • Grid battery storage.
    • Battery, electrical, utility technicians.

Proposed training occupations will be scored utilizing an upward mobility scale seeking to ensure residents are training for high growth and in-demand occupations providing living wages.

The upward mobility scale considers the following:

  • Average wage in alignment or greater than the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) living wage of $17.52/hour.1
  • Annual job demand for the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
  • Existence of entry educational certification AND conduciveness to facilitate credential attainment in a singular short-term occupational training or iterative trainings (stackable credentials).
Example: Upward mobility scale factors for HVAC Technician
Average Wage Annual Job Demand Entry Level Education
$18.75 - $29.47/hour (meets or exceeds MSA living wage) 500 openings annually Certificate - EPA, OSHA

Expected Measures and Outcomes

Competitive submissions will be evaluated on skills training, participant certification, career development, internship placement, and, ultimately, job placement and retention metrics.

Awarded partners' successful execution will be measured by the following criteria:

  • Number of residents enrolled.
  • Number of residents who successfully complete training.
  • Industry-recognized credential attainment.
  • Job placement in high-demand occupations
  • Employment retention - three months, six months and one year.
  • Increased wages upon training completion and job placement.

Proposed Program Structure

The City of Charlotte envisions a program structure that provides short-term occupational skills training. Short-term occupational training is defined as 16 weeks or less per course. The training period must provide participants with industry core competencies through classroom instruction, hands-on training and credential certification.

Participants should also receive career development assistance comprised of soft skills, cover letter and resume writing, and mock interview practice. RENEW also requires several industry engagement events including a job fair at the conclusion of training and experiential learning opportunities that might resemble employer lunch and learns, volunteer service, and/or skills competitions.

Proposal Submission Requirements

  • Registered vendor with the City of Charlotte.
  • Legal entity documentation (e.g., 501(c)3 or 501(c)6).
  • SAM Certificate and Unique Entity ID.
  • Certificate of Insurance.
    • Automotive Liability.
    • Commercial General Liability.
    • Worker's Compensation Insurance.
    • Crime Coverage - Fidelity Bond.
  • Proven fiscal capacity including capacity for fund accounting (e.g., annual audit documents with supporting documentation addressing any findings).

Experience, Background, Qualifications

Applicant organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Applicant organizations must be a nonprofit/501(c)3 or academic organization whose main programming provides workforce development resources, programs and services.
  • Provider organizations must produce documentation demonstrating the organization has served the Charlotte community for at least two years (i.e., annual reports or similar supporting documents) and provided workforce support programming for at least two years.
  • Applicant organizations must be located within the Mecklenburg County limits.
  • List current Board of Directors/Advisory Board: Name, Title, Year Appointed to Board.
  • Most recently approved audited financials.
    • Subject to request of additional documentation.
  • Submit an itemized budget reflecting the budget categories shared in the budget section.
  • Agree to adhere to RENEW Program participant guidelines:
    • 18 years old when applying for the RENEW program .
    • Participants must reside in the official city of Charlotte limits.
    • Be eligible to work in the United States by the time of program completion/graduation.
    • Ability to work in diverse conditions including but not limited to exposure to noisy operating equipment, exposure to extreme weather conditions and precarious places.
    • Meet the physical requirements of the training program and position.

Prepare and submit responses to the following items via the RENEW Grant Application Form

General Organizational Questions

  1. Is your agency a public entity, nonprofit organization, charitable, faith-based, or for-profit organization?
  2. Describe your agency's mission, vision, intended program outcomes and how they align with the mission of this program.
  3. Describe your agency's financial procedures, including financial controls, financial board oversight and financial statement of assurances, and describe your agency's history of timely and accurate financial reporting of revenues and expenditures.
  4. Does your agency meet requirements established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? (More information about ADA requirements can be found here.)
  5. Which RENEW instructional program is your organization applying to teach? (Clean vehicles, construction/real estate, energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid and battery storage.)
  6. What industry standards does your course instruction adhere to?
  7. What certifications will participants earn after completing the course?

Course Description

Please share a course description of the proposed training including learning outcomes and skill development. Indicate which training program the course description refers. Insufficient content will disqualify organizations from consideration.


  1. How many days per week do you propose are required?
  2. What is the duration of each course meeting (in hours)?
  3. What training day sequence do you propose?
  4. How many weeks of training do your propose are required?
  5. Proposed Cohort Size (capped at 15).
  6. Proposed Recruitment Period.
  7. Proposed Program Open House Date.
  8. Proposed Training Start Date (training duration capped at 16 weeks).
  9. Proposed Graduation Ceremony.
  10. Proposed Training End Date.
  11. What is the location of the proposed training?

Budget Requirements

Training Stipend Calculation
Cohort Size Hourly Rate
15 $15/hour


Work-based Learning Calculation
Cohort Size Hourly Rate (capped at $17/hour)
15 $17/hour


Proposed Budget Summary:
Below is the budget summary for eligible expenses and limitation caps under this application. In addition to the below proposed budget, provide a budget narrative calculation and justification for each expense.
Non-Participant Expenses Expense Caps
Instructor Compensation $20,000
Administrative/Indirect* $5,000
Participant Expenses Expense Caps
Occupational Skills Training (curriculum, testing, licenses, materials) TBD
Participant Training Stipend $15/hour per participant
Work-based Learning Stipend $17/hour per participant
Supportive Services $4,500 per cohort
Event $1,500 per cohort

* Administrative/indirect are general, administrative or operations-related expenses. The City of Charlotte reserves the final decision to approve or deny category reimbursement requests.

Grant Application Timeline

Item Date
Applicant Interest Meeting Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Application goes live Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Application closes Friday, May 17, 2024
Grantees selected Friday, June 7, 2024
Applicants should allocate/spend funds by December 2024

Definitions and References

  • Short-term Occupational Skills Training - training that includes any class or program that lasts less than 16 weeks and yields an industry-recognized credential. Industry-recognized credentials are certifications, credentials or licenses that are vetted by employers to recognize skills attainment needed for employment, retention and advancement.
  • MIT Living Wage Calculator Range for Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC.