(1) The department shall award funds based on the written grant application and any supporting documentation submitted by the lead applicant as part of the application. The department shall determine an initial application cycle for submission of applications and awarding of grant funds. If more than one application is submitted during the initial cycle, the applications shall be ranked according to the criteria in (3). If no applications are received during the initial cycle or if funding is still available after the initial cycle, the department will determine a subsequent cycle for submission of applications and awarding of grant funds.
(a) An application may be amended at the department's discretion.
(b) No lead applicant shall be awarded more than one award during a state fiscal year.
(c) A lead applicant who is denied funding during the initial cycle for submission may submit an application in any subsequent cycle.
(d) A lead applicant may withdraw a grant application before the department undertakes its evaluation of the application.
(2) An application is submitted for evaluation once the complete application or amended application is received by the department.
(3) The department shall evaluate submitted applications and award grants, based on the following:
(a) whether the application is complete pursuant to ARM 24.22.507;
(b) whether the training reasonably relates to the employer's Montana business operations;
(c) whether the training outcomes for the target population (completion rate and amount of economic improvement) are readily measurable;
(d) whether any matching funds are available for the project, and the amount of matching funds compared to the amount of funds requested in the application;
(e) the significance of the impact of the grant on the target population, and any other considerations the department deems relevant for furthering the purposes of the EARN program.
(4) The department may consider such other matters as may be pertinent to the evaluation, including but not limited to whether the lead applicant has provided timely reporting and compliance with regards to other grants previously awarded by the department.
(5) The department shall notify the lead applicant in writing of the department's decision to approve or reject a grant application following evaluation of the application. The notice approving the application must specify the amount approved for the grant.