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Workforce Training - Where There is a Will, There is a Way

With so many reasons that we come up with to postpone that training we've been needing for ourselves or for our team, cost is losing its place as a valid reason. Aside from the realization that the return on investment (ROI) for completing a well-designed training program ultimately creates greater results, there are also cost assistance programs available for employers.

In Montana, The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Workforce Training Grant Program is accepting applications and provides up to $3,000 per eligible employee receiving training to reimburse businesses for costs associated with training new and existing full-time workers. Each eligible employee must make a wage that meets or exceeds 170 percent of Montana’s current minimum wage (currently that would be $14.88/hour). The maximum grant award is $3,000 for each new and/or existing job up to 70 total jobs (70 employees x $3,000 = $210,000). Any bonuses earned will be allowed to exceed the maximum of $210,000. The Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission allocated $10 million for the program, which is administered by the Department of Commerce.

The grant award may only be used for direct costs associated with education or skills-based training for new or existing jobs. All necessary and incidental costs of providing workforce training and education directed to the new jobs are eligible for a grant. This includes all direct training costs, such as:

  • in-house or on-the-job training which would be based on the instructor’s wage at the time of training.

  • miscellaneous direct training costs (such as employee training-related travel).

  • training assessment and testing [such as Everything DiSC personality assessments]

  • subcontracted services with eligible training providers.

    • An eligible trainer must be a National or Montana accredited trainer. If they are a Montana training provider, the provider must be registered with and in good standing with the Secretary of State.

This program also includes funds for new positions Incentives. Businesses will be awarded a $500 incentive for each new position that meets the criteria below and provides training. The incentive would be on top of the training being conducted for an eligible activity and paid out at the end of the contract period.

  • A qualified disabled person; and/or

  • Disabled veteran; and/or

  • Native American (must provide tribal identification); and/or

  • Post-correctional facility release/pre-release center participant; and/or

  • Creates a new job that pays at least $51,000/year or $24.52/hour,

If you are not in Montana, check with your state to see about ARPA fund availability.

Now is a great time to plan your training program for the new year. Contact me if you don't know where to start. Happy Learning!

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