Solicited call for funding under the Community Workforce Development Program - Regional Stream

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Application period

This funding opportunity is additional to the solicited intake for the Community Workforce Development Program that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) launched in Spring 2022. This solicited intake is intended to enhance geographic and priority coverage of projects under the regional stream of the program.

Invited organizations can apply between December 13, 2022 to February 3, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

ESDC expects projects to begin as early as spring of 2023.

Note: Only organizations invited by Employment and Social Development Canada can apply.

The Solicited Call for Proposals is a competitive process.

  • ESDC will only consider applications from those invited to apply for funding
  • Not all organizations who apply will receive funding under this call

ESDC reserves the right to accept an application for funding in whole or in part. We may screen out incomplete applications.


Economic diversification helps communities thrive. Many communities face challenges relying on a small number of core industries and adapting in a changing labour market. To stay competitive, communities need local solutions to diversify their economies.

Budget 2021 committed $55 million for the Community Workforce Development Program. The program puts communities at the heart of determining their economic futures. It is a pilot to test community-based approaches to workforce planning and skills training to support local economic development and growth. It aims to benefit 25 communities, 250 employers, and 2,500 workers.

The program will strengthen communities by supporting economic and workforce development. This includes helping Canadians develop the skills they need to adapt in a changing labour market. The program also aims to improve diversity and inclusion by supporting under-represented groups in the labour market.


The program encourages collaboration between employers, training providers, community organizations and others, to:

  • support community workforce planning by:
    • bringing organizations together from across industries and sectors
    • identifying high growth areas
    • finding local sources of labour to meet employer demand
  • connect employers and training providers to upskill and reskill jobseekers and workers with the skills employers need, and
  • fill current and emerging jobs

Organizations solicited for funding

ESDC is using a competitive, solicited call for proposals to fund projects. ESDC applied the criteria below when inviting organizations to apply for funding:

  • organizations with the necessary capacity, experience and expertise to deliver on program objectives;
  • representation from diverse sectors including education and training, labour, not-for profit, and Indigenous organizations;
  • geographic diversity, and
  • organizations that work with under-represented groups

Regional stream priorities areas (projects must address one or more priorities):

  • local economic development strategies to take action on climate change and support clean growth across Canada. This includes contributing to Canada's decarbonisation targets for 2030 and Net Zero by 2050. (Green Transition)
  • supporting coastal communities in the sustainable use of ocean resources and marine environments to foster economic growth and improve livelihoods and jobs while promoting ocean ecosystem health.Footnote 1 (Blue Economy)
  • supporting the growth of organizations across sectors and industries by adopting new technologies (Technology Adoption)


This section describes how ESDC will screen applications to decide their eligibility. Applications must meet the eligibility criteria listed below for funding consideration. Otherwise, we will deem the application ineligible.

Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients are:

  • not-for-profit organizations
  • for-profit organizations, provided that the nature and intent of the activity is:
    • non-commercial
    • not intended to generate profit, and
    • supports program priorities and objectives
  • municipal governments
  • Indigenous organizations (First Nations, Inuit, Metis, urban and unaffiliated) including, but not limited to:
    • incorporated for profit and not-for-profit Indigenous controlled organizations
    • Indigenous controlled unincorporated associations
    • Band Councils
    • Tribal Councils
    • Indigenous self-government entities; and
  • educational institutions (in other words, universities, colleges, CÉGEPs, school boards/school districts)

Note to organizations located and operating in Quebec: Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30).

The Quebec National Assembly adopted an Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30).

  • The provisions of this Act include certain conditions on Quebec government bodies and certain other entities wanting to contract with the federal government
  • You may wish to consult the provisions of the M-30 before submitting your Application for Funding. This will help to ensure compliance with the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30)
  • Any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any agreement with the Government of Canada

Contact us

If you have questions, please email us at before January 27, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

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