For the motivated and dedicated employee, there is nothing worse than working somewhere that expects you to do something but gives you no tools on how to learn that skill. Asking an employee to do a task without any training is not a great way to grow your business or retain loyal employees. That’s why training is a critical component to every company, most especially the small and medium-size businesses that rely on employees to play many different roles during the workday.
Why Invest In Employee Training?
Training employees is a win-win scenario for both the employee and the business as a whole. The benefits on both sides include: improved employee performance, improved employee satisfaction and morale, increased productivity, enhanced reputation of the business, employee retention, and increased innovation in your field. Unfortunately, training takes funding and that is not always possible for smaller businesses that rely on their workforce to keep the company going.
Tips to Find Funding for Employee Training: Massachusetts
Hosting in-house training sessions, mentoring, outside training classes, or even on-the-job training can be costly. The Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) helps address business productivity and competitiveness by providing resources to Massachusetts businesses in order to fund training for current and newly hired employees. Within the WTFP there’s nearly $20 million available to train employees to do their job more effectively either for free or at a reduced cost.
The WTFP is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public entity under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The program is funded by a small surcharge on unemployment insurance payments.
The reimbursement rate for each training program varies by grant depending on the type and size of your training needs. In general, however, many grants have a 50% reimbursement or matching component. Most grants are open to organizations of all sizes. Both full- and part-time employees may participate in training, but contract employees are not eligible to be trained by these funds. All trainees must be paid at their normal rates during training.
The WorkForce Training Fund offers several programs including an Express Program, for businesses with 100 or fewer employees where the grants are limited to $30,000 per company per calendar year and to $3,000 per employee per course, a General Fund, where businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply, and the Small Business Direct Access Program available for businesses with 100 or fewer employees and created for smaller-scale training needs. For more questions, see the MassGov page on how to apply and if your company qualifies.
In addition to Massachusetts’ funded programs, U.S. Department of Labor also has grants to help you train your employees. This program includes several components including state and federal grants, tax credits, on-the-job training, and Workforce Development Boards that can facilitate partnerships between businesses and training providers.
Our MassHire Career Centers also offer employment and training services for job seekers and employers. Check out our services and contact information to get started funding your employee training programs.