Workforce Training Grants

Program Goal:

The goal of the Workforce Training Grant Program is to incent new and expanding businesses to attract, develop and retain talent in the state of Wisconsin.

This program primarily supports the following WEDC Strategic Pillar and Focus Area:

Business Development: Business Retention and Expansion

Program Description:

The program aids businesses in attracting, developing and retaining talent as a part of a business development project. The program provides grant funds to businesses to upgrade or improve the job-related skills of a business’s existing and new employees.

Eligibility Requirements:

Definitions:

“Financial Institution” means a bank, as defined in §214.01(1)(c), a savings bank as defined in §214.01(1)(t), a savings and loan association, a trust company, a credit union as defined in §186.01(2), a mortgage banker as defined in §224.71(3)(a) , or a mortgage broker as defined in §224.71(4)(a), whether chartered under the laws of this state, another state or territory, or under the laws of the United States; a company that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a bank, a savings bank, a savings and loan association, a trust company, a credit union, a mortgage banker, or a mortgage broker; or a person licensed under §138.09, other than a person who agrees for a fee to hold a check for a period of time before negotiating or presenting the check for payment and other than a pawnbroker, as defined in §138.10(1)(a).

“Ineligible Business” means businesses ineligible for WTG funds, unless extraordinary circumstances exist, including but not limited to a serious threat of a business leaving the state, significant job creation or retention, or significant capital investment, and such extraordinary circumstances are approved by the Board of Directors’ Awards Administration Committee:

  • Payday loan and title loan companies
  • Telemarketing other than inbound call centers
  • Pawn shops
  • Media outlets
  • Retail
  • Farms
  • Primary care medical facilities
  • Financial Institutions
  • The hospitality industry

Activities:

The program incents job training that focuses on new technology, industrial skills, manufacturing processes, or leadership development. The training must not be currently available through other resources such as Wisconsin Technical College System, Microsoft Office training, OSHA courses, DWD Fast Forward, unless the program timeline does not coincide with business needs.

Eligibility Factors:

Evaluation of all WEDC training grant applications will include, but are not limited to, the following factors:

  • Training shall be related to a specific project that is not part of routine operations
  • Whether the project will be located in an economically distressed area
  • Whether the project will be located in a rural area
  • The financial soundness of the business
  • Any previous financial assistance that the business received from the Department of Commerce/WEDC

Eligible grant and matching training costs may include the wages of employees (except senior management) participating in the training, training materials, and trainer costs.

Ineligible training costs (both grant and match) include travel, meals, lodging and training that addresses any of the following:

  • Orientation
  • Non job-related training
  • State or federally mandated programs
  • Routine training not related to a specific project

Grant Award Conditions:

  • Training may be on- or off-site.
  • Grant funds may not be used for past costs.

Incentives and Available Funding (FY18): $2,000,000

The incentives in this program are grants of 50% of eligible training costs, up to $5,000 per employee trained.

Activities and Expected Outcomes:

Assist eight businesses to train 400 employees

Performance Reporting:

Recipients will be required to annually submit a performance report documenting job training as well as any other contract deliverable.

WEDC may impose additional reporting requirements to evaluate project performance and to ensure compliance with contract deliverables.

Application and Awards Process:

Applicants for a Workforce Training Grant should complete an application through a regional economic development director. The completed application will be assigned to an underwriter and go through the award review process.

For more information on application review, internal process and award distribution, please refer to WEDC’s award administration policies and procedures.