The U. S. job market remains hobbled as many employers delay hiring. But economically trying times offer opportunities to prepare for future growth. The AICPA has identified resources for training and assistance to help financial executives meet these challenges.
Take advantage of federal stimulus dollars. The Employment and Training Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Labor, has allocated $2.9 billion annually for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 for work force training. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides an additional $90 million, which is available through June 30, 2012.
Use National Emergency Grants. Employers who fill positions with dislocated workers may qualify for National Emergency Grants to help fund their on-the-job-training costs. Dislocated workers include those who have been terminated or laid off or have received notice that they will be; those who are eligible for unemployment insurance or have exhausted their unemployment benefits; self-employed workers no longer employed because of economic conditions or because of a natural disaster; individuals who have demonstrated an appropriate attachment to the work force, but are not eligible for unemployment insurance and are unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation; and displaced homemakers no longer supported by another family member.
Training must evolve from an agreement between the employer and a local career center. Training costs include those for supervision and lower productivity during the training as well as the actual on-site training program implemented. Employers may be reimbursed from 50% to 90% of training participants’ wage rate, which may be hourly or salaried. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible for the highest reimbursement. The maximum reimbursement period is six months. For more information visit tinyurl.com/2ccvw3u and tinyurl.com/266bmbx.
Consider registered apprenticeships. Businesses also may be interested in registered apprenticeships as a career-development tool for new or current employees. Benefits vary by state and may include tax benefits and work force development grants. A registered apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with custom blends of needed training. Most programs are four years, but may range from one to six years. Some states may match up to 75% of eligible wages for businesses with a maximum of 100 employees that combine apprenticeship with on-the-job-training. The Department of Labor maintains a list of more than 1,100 occupations that are eligible for apprenticeships. Contact the nearest regional Office of Apprenticeship at tinyurl.com/22ujn4a or state apprenticeship agencies at tinyurl.com/2dznb9e.
Get paid to provide “work experience.” Work experience (called “work share” in some states) is a planned, temporary, structured form of on-the-job training that may combine elements of classroom education, Workforce Investment Act funding and unemployment compensation. Businesses and local work force boards collaborate to offer experience to prospective employees. Employers may receive a subsidy of a negotiated per diem rate from the Workforce Investment Act. Employees may continue to receive unemployment benefits while working reduced hours and also may receive Workforce Investment Act training assistance. A work experience workplace may be in the private for-profit sector, the nonprofit sector or the public sector. More information is available at tinyurl.com/yfhzjje.
Source: Adapted from the AICPA white paper “Training Grants and You: Expansion Through Career Development.” The full paper is available to the public at bit.ly/TrainingGrants.
More from the JofA: