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General Program GuidelinesApply Here
- Grants ranging from $10,000 to $250,000 are awarded competitively to Massachusetts employers (or a consortium of employers) to train their current and newly hired full-time and part-time employees (i.e., incumbent workers).
- Each year, more than $14 million in General Program Training Grants are expected to be awarded. Applications are accepted and grants are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year.
- Companies of any size with a workforce in Massachusetts are eligible.
- All trainees must be payroll employees of participating companies that are employed in Massachusetts. (They are not required to live in Massachusetts.) Contractors or employees of other firms (e.g., temps) are not eligible to participate.
- Training programs must be completed within two years.
- Greater weight will be given to applications that address selection criteria associated with job growth and/or increases in skills/opportunities of low-skill or low-wage workers.
- Applicants should avoid proposing training that focuses solely on managers and executives.
- WTFP grants will not be awarded to subsidize existing or on-going training expenses. Grants must supplement, but not replace private investment in training. Training that would otherwise take place without a grant will not be funded.
- Only organizations that contribute to the Workforce Training Fund are eligible to take part in WTFP grant programs. (Please Note: All for-profit companies in Massachusetts contribute as do some non-profits. Non-profits that select the contributory method to finance Unemployment Insurance are eligible. 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. No federal, state, or local government entities contribute and therefore are not eligible to take part in any grant funded training.)
- A certified copy of a Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue that is less than 6 months old must be provided by WTF grantees prior to consideration for grant awards.
- Applicants must also be in full compliance with all obligations to the Department of Unemployment Assistance, Department of Industrial Accidents, and any other obligations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar by grant recipients. The matching requirement takes into account training-related expenses such as the cost of wages and fringe of trainees during training hours. Typically, grant funds pay for training provider(s) fees and the cost of wages and fringe of employees during training hours is sufficient to meet matching requirements.
- NOTE: ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is a priority of the Workforce Training Fund. Effective immediately, new General Program applications that include workplace ESOL are not required to meet the dollar-for-dollar matching requirement, if the application otherwise meets the match in absence of the ESOL module(s). For example, if the total grant request is $200,000, with $50,000 designated for ESOL, the matching funds for the non-ESOL modules must total at least $150,000.
If your training plan includes ESOL you must contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org before you apply for guidance about how to take full advantage of special exceptions for ESOL.
- All trainees must be paid at their regular pay rates during training hours.
- Previous General Program award recipients will not be considered for new grants until one year has elapsed from the end of prior General Program training grants. (see temporary exception below)
- NOTICE: Due to the effects of Covid-19, WTFP is temporarily waiving the one year waiting period in order to help businesses address emerging needs. If you have recently closed your General Program grant, you may apply for a new grant with no waiting period, provided you submit the application before June 1, 2021.
- WTFP policy prohibits General Program funding for topics that were addressed in a prior grant, until five years has passed since the closeout of the last grant.
- NOTE: ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is an exception. ESOL may be included in consecutive grants.
- Applicants should negotiate the costs of instruction and related training materials with training providers to ensure that proposed costs are reasonable, necessary, and competitive.
- Employers who are minority or female-owned enterprises registered with the State Office of Women and Minority Business Assistance are encouraged to apply.
- Employers are encouraged to apply for grants focusing on adult basic education (ABE) and/or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).
- Employers may use the training vendor(s) of their choice. Applicants must provide information about the qualifications and costs of training providers, as well as the selection process used to choose proposed vendor(s). In rare cases, a portion of grant-funds may be used to cover the cost of internal trainers (company employees) if no suitable alternative is available. This is rare and limited. It is assumed that grant funds should not be needed to cover the cost of existing training capacity without special circumstances. Applicants are advised to contact us by calling (617) 717-6915 to discuss circumstances and receive guidance prior to applying for a grant that includes funding for internal training providers.
- Applications that do not meet the technical requirements (e.g., incomplete application or missing documentation) will not be accepted.
- Workforce Training Fund administrators may perform post-training analysis of grant-funded training to analyze effectiveness and methodology. Grantee recipients may be required to provide information including, but not limited to participant-level data. Companies will be notified in advance of information requests and will be given sufficient time to provide available information.
- Applicants or their training providers who have been debarred from doing business with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the Federal Government are not eligible to participate in Workforce Training Fund Programs.
- Other restrictions may apply.