Ohio announces opening of workforce training program application period
TAX ALERT |
UPDATE: The Ohio Development Services Agency has announced that it will begin accepting applications for round four of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Oct. 14, 2015. Round four funding will cover employer training costs incurred from Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2016. However, the program will no longer cover tuition reimbursements and the funding limit has been reduced to $100,000 per EIN from $250,000 per EIN. Employers should review their training plans for calendar year 2016 and consider participating in round four of the program.
The Ohio Development Services Agency has announced that it will begin accepting applications for round three of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Sept. 30, 2014. During this third round of the program, Ohio will provide $29.4 million in funding to cover employer training costs incurred from Aug. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015.
The program aims to create an exceptional state workforce with advanced skills that can meet the present and future demands of a changing economy by providing training funds to Ohio’s key business sectors. Under the program, eligible employers can apply to receive direct financial assistance, up to $4,000 per employee per fiscal year with a maximum grant of $250,000, for specific training costs.
To be eligible, an employer must operate as a for-profit entity in a state-designated targeted industry with a facility located in Ohio that has been in continuous operation for the 12 months immediately prior to submitting an application. Targeted industries include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Aerospace and aviation
- Back office
- Corporate headquarters
- Financial services
- Food processing
- Information technology and services
- Polymers and chemicals
- Research and development
Eligibility is determined based on the employer’s NAICS code.
To qualify for reimbursement, training must expand and improve employees’ workforce skills and develop opportunities for growth or promotion within the company. Eligible expenses include tuition, instructor or trainer fees, and instructional materials, including manuals, textbooks and handouts. Reimbursement for instructional material costs is limited to 25 percent of the cost of training per employee and must be allocated proportionately among all employees enrolled in a course.
The program’s online pre-application process is currently open. Through Sept. 29, 2014, employers may begin populating the application and completing the necessary forms. For round three of the program, Ohio no longer requires entry of each trainee’s date of birth and last four (4) digits of his or her Social Security number during the pre-application process.
On Sept. 30, 2014, applicants may submit their online applications. Please be aware that applicants will need to check a series of six boxes to confirm the organization has reviewed and accepted all terms, conditions and disclosures related to the process. Upon completion, the applicant will receive electronic confirmation of the submission.
Funding approval for the program is on a first-come, first-served basis, and competition for funding during prior rounds has been fierce. It is highly recommended that employers intending to take advantage of this program participate in the pre-application process and submit their final applications as close as possible to 10:00 a.m. EDT on Sept. 30, 2014. Access to the state’s online forms can be obtained here. Please note that employers will need to register with the Ohio Development Services Agency to access these forms.