EWP Business Partner Business Expansion Grant

Maryland Works Announces a Funding Opportunity

To expand into new lines of business within the Employment Works Program to offer more employment opportunities in fully integrated work environments for people with disabilities.


Employment Works Program – Business Partner Business Expansion Grants



The purpose of this initiative is to assist Employment Works Program business partners in expanding into new lines of business to increase the employment opportunities of people with disabilities by supporting community service providers (Providers) and Individuals-with-Disability- Owned Business (IDOBs) approved by the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Rehabilitation Services. Funds may be used to support staff time dedicated to this initiative and/or obtain customized consulting, training, and certifications needed to add service category(ies) to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to get and keep meaningful work they want in their communities making living. Providers and IDOBs will identify the specific assistance and support needed to reach specified goals.


This 2023 grant opportunity is available to:


  1. Providers that are approved EWP vendor business partners, and


  1. IDOBs that are approved EWP vendor business partners


Funding for this initiative is available through Maryland Works. Three grants will be awarded,

$30,000 each.



People with disabilities in Maryland want jobs in the community, pay that provides a living wage with benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. This initiative addresses several of the components that are critical for this to happen, including:

State and federal laws and policies are shifting toward requiring and supporting increased opportunities for people with disabilities to work in their communities in a fully integrated work environment.


Assistance available through this grant is intended to support eligible community service providers and/or IDOBs in concert with achieving credentials and certifications to provide services to state agencies such as: Unarmed Guard, Janitorial, IT support, Pest Control, and Landscaping. Through this initiative, Maryland Works seeks to assist eligible EWP vendor business partners who are strongly committed to providing integrated employment to people with disabilities, to expand into new lines of business.


Scope of Work

Applicant for grant funds to prepare a new service under this initiative are required to:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to supporting people with disabilities to get and keep jobs in their communities making decent wages.
  • Set goals and benchmarks for increasing the number of people employed in community jobs of their choice and increasing the number of hours they work.
  • Identify a plan and undertake specific, measurable activities to achieve the goals.


Funding can be used for a range of activities and/or to support time dedicated to this initiative. If requested, the project partners will help identify the sources of consulting that have been successful in achieving positive outcomes. Examples of activities supported through this initiative may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Developing or strengthening an agency’s commitment to improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities, including working with boards, families, individuals and key stakeholders.
  • Developing and/or implementing necessary organizational changes to achieve the transformation goals, including changes to budget and personnel.
  • Developing and/or implementing a strategic plan to increase customized employment for people with disabilities.


Expected Outcomes

  • An increase in the number of individuals with disabilities who are employed in competitive integrated community jobs that they choose.
  • For individuals already employed, a measurable improvement in their employment status, measured in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: increased hours, higher satisfaction with their job, promotion, and/or increased pay and benefits.
  • Improved employment supports and services, reflected in the mission, vision, policies, and, most importantly, practices of provider agencies.
  • It is anticipated that grant recipients will be prepared to bid on new contracts by August 2024.


What Proposals Must Include
To request funding, vendor business partners must submit a proposal that includes the following information:


General Information

  • Organization’s name, address, and contact information.
  • Number of people currently supported in part-time and full-time work.
  • Number of people currently supported during the day who are not working.
  • List of the counties where people receive services and supports.
  • Three (3) references (businesses/employers).


Understanding the Commitment of the Organization

In order to better understand your organization’s needs, provide the following information about where your organization is in the process of supporting people with disabilities to have the jobs they want.


Rate each of the following key stakeholder groups in your organization regarding how ready they are for change: board of directors, executive director/CEO, middle management, direct support staff, individuals supported by your organization, families of individuals supported by your organization.


Rating scale: 1: ready and willing; 2: potentially open to change; 3: resistant; 4: highly opposed


Briefly explain your rating for each group. Since there may be variance within each stakeholder group, choose the rating that best describes the majority of the stakeholders in each group.


Note: Ratings are for the purpose of learning where your organization is in the process and will not negatively affect consideration of your application.


  1. What steps, if any, has your organization taken to increase the employment outcomes for the individuals you support? (And decrease the number of people who are in facility-based employment, if applicable).
  2. What are the biggest barriers and challenges your organization faces relative to supporting people to work in the community?
  3. What service does the organization plan to add?
  4. What licensing will the organization need to add this service?
  5. What specific types and amounts (hours or days) of consulting are you requesting? Who will provide the consulting, if known? What are their related credentials and experience? (Indicate if you do not know and the funding partners will assist in identifying the source of consulting, if known).
    1. How many jobs will this create? Within what time frame?
    2. In order to evaluate this initiative: How will you determine that the goals and the objectives have been met? How will you determine the impact or effect the project has upon the individuals served?


Supporting Documentation

  1. A letter of commitment from the Executive Director/CEO and/or President/Chairperson of the organization’s Board of Directors. If the proposal is a collaborative effort, letters of commitment from all partnering organizations’ directors and boards must be included.
  2. Resume of the lead staff person responsible for this initiative and an explanation as to why this person was selected.
  3. Resume and signed letter of intent from the consultant(s) who will be involved in this initiative, if identified.
  4. Detailed budget to include the following information:
  5. A brief explanation and justification for each expense, including how you arrived at the total.
  6. Copy of Maryland State certificate of good standing.



  1. Proposals may not exceed 10 pages, not including the supporting documents in Section IV
  2. Number pages, double space, and use only one side of the page.
  3. Use font point size 12 or larger.
  4. Do not submit cover letters, descriptive material, or any other attachment, except as listed above. They will not be reviewed.



Grant awardees must submit documented goals, timeline, and identified line of business to Maryland Works with the proposal. All grant recipients must provide Maryland Works with copies of materials developed as a result of this project, e.g., policies, procedures, and lessons learned.


Funds Available

Funds will be available beginning November 1, 2023 and should be expended within one year. The first grant payment, in the amount of one-third of the grant award, will be distributed December 1, 2023.  Quarterly benchmarks will be set once the service is approved, and grants are distributed. Each organization submitting an application may apply for a maximum of $30,000.


Who Can Submit Proposals

Community service providers who are eligible to participate in the Employment Works Program to provide employment services for people with disabilities in Maryland are eligible to submit proposals.

Individuals with Disability-Owned Businesses who are eligible to participate in the Employment Works Program and are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Rehabilitation Services.


Pre-Proposal Information Session


A pre-proposal information session will be held. The pre-proposal information session will be the only opportunity to ask questions. Attendance, however, is not mandatory.

Email info@mdworks.com or call 410-381-8660 for more information or questions. 


Proposal Deadline

To be considered, proposals MUST be received by October 20, 2023, at 12:00pm (noon).

Email your application to Kevin Armstrong: kevina@mdworks.com


Important Note: Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged by email or phone. If you do not receive confirmation by 2pm on October 20, 2023, contact Kevin Armstrong at 410-381-8660.


October 20th, 2023
Event Category: