Ohio announces 2018 workforce training program application period
Applications may be submitted beginning Oct. 12, 2017
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On Sept. 25, 2017, the Ohio Development Services Agency announced that it will accept applications for the fiscal year 2018 Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program beginning at 10am on Oct. 12, 2017.
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 33 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $4,000 per 'incumbent employee' per fiscal year with a maximum grant of $25,000, for specific training costs. An incumbent employee is an individual employeed by a qualifying employer for six months or longer.
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
- Automotive (technicians and manufacturing)
- 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 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 as of Sept. 25, 2017, employers may begin populating the application and completing the necessary forms.
On Oct. 12, 2017, 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.
The maximum grant of $25,000 per company (compared to $75,000 last year) and reduction of the reimbursement percentage from 50 percent to 33 percent both indicate Ohio is attempting to have more companies receive funding this year than in prior years. Companies that received program assistance in fiscal year 2016 who utilized 33 percent or less of their award amount will not be eligible for assistance in fiscal year 2018. Applicants should also know that the same standard will be applied to future funding years.
Funding approval for the program is on a first-come, first-served basis, and competition for funding during prior rounds has been competitive. 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 a.m. on Oct. 12, 2017. Instructions for the 2018 online application process can be obtained here. Please note that employers will need to register with the Ohio Development Services Agency to access application forms.