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State Funding Programs for Pennsylvania Companies

Would you provide your employees with more and better training if you could get some help with the financing issues?  

Many of our clients find that budgetary constraints are the major obstacle to providing the desired quality and quantity of training for their employees. If you are looking for ideas on how to fund your training program, help may be a phone call away.

Funding in the form of state grants is available for many Pennsylvania-based companies wishing to provide training for their employees.  

The two main state programs available are:  

  • Guaranteed Free Training Program
  • Customized Job Training program 

Guaranteed Free Training Program

The Guaranteed Free Training Program (GFT) is provided by the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA), This program provides free job training for basic entry-level skills and advanced information technology skills for companies who qualify.

The GFT program is broken down into two categories: the Basic Skills Program and the Information Technology Program. Financial grants received through these programs can used to provide either instructor-led or online training for eligible employees. You can use this money for training performed in-house or by a subcontractor (such as APS). Another good source of training may be your local community college.

The Straight Dope on GFT 

The GFT program allocates up to either $450 (per employee) of Basic Skills Training or up to $700 (per employee) of Information Technology Training per fiscal year up to a maximum of $100,000 per company. 

In reality, last year, most PA companies that applied received up to approximately $25,000. Essentially, the state starts with a big pool of money and divides it up among the qualified companies that have applied. As long as you meet the requirements, you are guaranteed (by the state) to receive a share of the funds. While this probably wont fund your entire training budget, it may help ease some pain and may allow you to provide training that you might not be able to afford otherwise.

Detailed information can be found on the www.wednetpa.com web site, however, we have summarized the basic requirements for eligibility as follows:

  1. Employer must be based in Pennsylvania or maintain a significant presence in the state.

  2. Employer must be a manufacturing and/or technology-based business, including Biotech and Environmental-Tech companies.

  3. Employees participating in the training must earn at least 150% of the current minimum wage, excluding benefits and be permanent full-time employees receiving full-time benefits and verifiable residents of Pennsylvania and are employed in Pennsylvania .

  4. Employees participating in the training must be front-line employees or first level supervisors in manufacturing or technology-based companies. (If training classes are held with a mix of front-line employees and management, the cost of training is covered pro rata.)

  5. The company is also limited to participation in the Guaranteed Free Training program to two consecutive years and three out of the past five years. You can check your eligibility at http://www.wednetpa.com/programs/participation_search.asp

The application process for GFT is relatively simple. You can apply through any WEDnet rep or give us a call and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction and give you our insights on the program as well. All applications for the upcoming fiscal year must be processed by July 15th. In some cases, additional funds may be made available at other times of the year. Give us a call if you would like to know more. 

Customized Job Training

The other major state program is the Customized Job Training Program (CJT). In our experience, the application process for this program is a bit more complicated than the GFT program, but this may be a good source of funding for companies that don't meet the criteria for GFT or have specialized needs. You may wish to refer to the Customized Job Training web site for more specific information or feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to share our insights.

How do you get started? 

The first step is the application process. More information can be found on the www.inventpa.com web site. You may contact your local rep or if you have any questions or would just like to talk about training, call Greg Pancerev at (610) 987-4054 or email us at info@aps-online.net

Please note that Applied Performance Strategies, Inc. is not an agent or representative of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are providing the information on this page as a free informative service to manufacturing companies in Pennsylvania. While we strive to ensure that the information on our website is accurate and current to the best of our knowledge, some errors may occur. Refer to the official Pennsylvania state documentation for the most accurate information.  



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