What is the Workforce Training Fund?
The Workforce Training Fund is a state fund financed entirely by Massachusetts employers. It was established in July 1998. The mission of the Workforce Training Fund is to provide businesses with resources to invest in their Massachusetts employees and support workers in improving their skills to maintain the economic strength and viability of the Commonwealth’s businesses. The Fund’s major focus is on small- to medium-sized businesses that would not be able to make this investment without financial support.
How do I know if my organization contributes to the Workforce Training Fund? Do non-profit organizations contribute to the Workforce Training Fund?
To qualify to take part in Workforce Training Fund (WTFP) grant programs your organization must contribute to the Workforce Training Fund. All for-profit employers in Massachusetts contribute to the WTFP via a surcharge on their Unemployment Insurance payments. Non-profit employers that select the contributory method to finance Unemployment Insurance also pay the surcharge and are eligible to participate in WTFP grant programs. Non-profits that select the reimbursable method are paying a discounted rate that does not include contribution to the WTFP and therefore are not eligible. For information about unemployment insurance payment options for non-profit employers click here. No federal, state, or local government entities contribute and therefore are not eligible to take part in any WTFP grant-funded training.)
My business has more than 100 employees in Massachusetts. Can I still access training through the Small Business Direct Access Program?
No, if you have more than 100 employees in Massachusetts you are not eligible to enroll employees in training through the Small Business Direct Access Program. However if you meet eligibility requirements you may apply for a grant through the General Program.
What employees are eligible for training?
Massachusetts-based payroll employees working at an eligible business may participate in training. This means that workers whose training is funded by this program must be working at a location in the Commonwealth.
If my worksite is in Massachusetts, but some employees live outside of Massachusetts, can they be trained with these funds?
Yes. In order to be eligible to participate, employees are not required to live in Massachusetts, but Massachusetts must be their primary workplace and payroll taxes must be paid to Massachusetts.
Can contract workers be trained with these funds?
No, contract employees are not eligible to be trained with these funds.
Can part-time employees be trained with Workforce Training Fund subsidies?
Yes, both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for training.
What if my headquarters is located outside of Massachusetts?
A company with headquarters outside of Massachusetts may register to access the Small Business Direct Access Program, provided that all employees to be trained work in Massachusetts (i.e. payroll taxes are paid to Massachusetts). Individual trainees are not required to live in Massachusetts, but Massachusetts must be their primary workplace and payroll taxes must be paid to Massachusetts for all trainees.
What are my financial obligations?
You must pay your employees their regular wages as they attend training.
I am a training provider. How can my training organization participate in the Small Business Direct Access Program?
We are not accepting new training providers for the Small Business Direct Access Program at this time. The current training courses and providers for the Small Business Direct Access Program were selected through a competitive procurement process which is now closed. If you are a training provider interested in receiving emails from the Workforce Training Fund and Commonwealth Corporation, sign up for our mailing list here.