You may or may not have noticed that your business is making a quarterly Workforce Training Fund Contribution to Massachusetts. The Workforce Training Fund rate is 0.056% for 2016. This payment, which is in addition to the Unemployment Insurance contribution payment, is deposited in the Workforce Training Fund and used to award grants to companies to provide workforce training and education programs for existing employees and newly hired employees.
The Workforce Training Fund Program is available to businesses of all size. However, the program’s major focus is on small to medium-sized companies that may not be able to provide employees with training to improve skills. The mission of the Workforce Training Fund is to provide applicants with the resources to invest in the Massachusetts workforce, improve employee skills, and maintain the economic strength and viability of the Commonwealth’s businesses.
Per the Workforce Training Fund Program Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report, during fiscal year 2016, more that $18 million in General Program grants were awarded to support training of 13,984 employees in 185 businesses. The businesses that received these grants have estimated that the training supports them in achieving their business growth objectives and will allow them to hire 1,349 additional workers.
There are three program options:
- Grants available up to $250,000 per company
- Available to use a training provider of choice
- Funds used to train current and newly hired employees
- Company may apply for a General Program Technical Assistance Grant of $5,000 up to $10,000. The technical assistance grant is awarded to a company to help develop an application for a training grant.
- Available for companies with 100 or fewer employees
- Grants available up to $30,000 per company per year
- The Express Program grant will reimburse up to 50% of the actual cost of training, not to exceed $3,000 per employee per course
- Companies must select a pre-registered course from the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development
- A company may request to add a course to the directory
Direct Access Program
- Training is available free of charge
- This program addresses smaller scale training needs for companies
- 10 training programs are available throughout Massachusetts
- Training topics include process improvement, computer skills, supervisory skills, and more
Any business that is contributing to the Workforce Training Fund Program is eligible to apply for training. Training grants are available on an array of topics such as ESOL, Project Management, Machine Set-Up & Operation, Sales, Adult Basic Education, Lean/Continuous Process Improvement, Software & IT Skills, Customer Service, ISO, Leadership & Management Skills, Six Sigma, Train-the-Trainer and more.
If you think your business could benefit from this program you may visit www.workforcetrainingfund.org for more information on training programs, program guidelines and grant applications.
We at KMM are always available to help you reach your business goals as well. Contact us any time!
Written by: Lyndsey Hardin