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Customized Training

Grants to New York City Businesses
for Employee Training Programs

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NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

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Grants starting at $10,000 to New York City businesses to provide employees with training programs. Interested businesses must submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full application. Businesses will identify the training needs for staff members. If selected, grantees will carry out training for a minimum of 10 employees, including new hires.

Customized Training is a competitive program that provides funding to enable New York City business owners to invest in their workforce. With financial support, business applicants can afford training programs that can impact a business’s bottom line; for example, by reducing turnover, becoming more efficient or productive, or by increasing and retaining customers. As your employees gain new skills and become more valuable, they are compensated with wage increases. This creates a more highly skilled workforce with a better quality of life.

Customized Training awards can only be used to support one of the following categories of business needs:
-Training on recently purchased equipment or software
-Training to offer new services/products to reach new markets
-Training to promote or give current staff new skills to advance into hard to fill positions
-Training to update obsolete skills that are necessary in order for the business to be competitive

Types of Training:

Applicants may combine several types of training into a single application. Training programs do not need to begin and end on the same dates and not all trainees have to take the same type of training. Training may include one or both types:

Customized: Training activities that occur outside of an employee’s regular job responsibilities Example: Classroom or online training led by an external consultant, instructor, or internal staff person

On-the-job*: Training activities that occur while an employee is engaged in productive work. Example: Shadowing a manager to further develop a new skill

*Any on-the-job training must also include Customized Training

Training can provide employees with either:

Occupational skills
-Specific skills needed to perform an actual task or function required by an employer
-Operating a new piece of equipment or software system
-Managing projects or staff in a higher level position

Work-readiness skills
-Foundational skills needed to perform a variety of positions
-English as a second language
-Communication/Problem Solving

Eligible Customized Training Costs
-External Instruction: The cost of tuition or the salary of an external training provider.
-Internal Instruction: Wages paid to internal staff that provides training to trainees as part of the Customized Training project.
-Curriculum Development: Time spent customizing a curriculum to address the specific training need.
-External Space: Space that is rented specifically for training.
-Trainee Wages: Wages for hours spent in training (tips, bonuses, and commission are not eligible for reimbursement).
-Books, Materials and Supplies: Materials that are specifically training related and cannot be used for items that will produce goods or services for sale or items used during normal business operations.

Eligible On-the-Job Training Costs
-Trainee Wages: The only eligible costs are trainee wages for hours spent in training (tips, bonuses and commission are not eligible for reimbursement).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163216

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award is $400,000. The minimum award is $10,000.

Term of Contract:

Recipients have 3 months to launch training and 1 year to conduct training.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Businesses must:
-Be a for-profit business (or two jointly applying for-profit businesses) that have a similar training need.
-Be located in one of New York City’s five boroughs
-Demonstrate the ability to pay for training upfront
-Project wage increases for at least 50% of currently employed trainees
-Propose to train at least 10 employees (with no more than 50% as projected new hires)

Employees must:
-Be either a new employee or an existing employee
-Be working in one of New York City’s five boroughs
-Be over 18 years old
-Be paid during training (must meet Federal and State minimum wage standards)
-Earn less than a pre-deduction wage of $71,919/year or $34.57/hour
-Meet all applicable Federal Selective Service requirements

Customized Training cannot be used for the following:
a. Training that is mandated by the government and considered the responsibility of the business owner (such as sexual harassment training, diversity training, and mandated safety training).
b. Ongoing training that is already being provided by the business owner.
c. Training that does not provide transferable or advancement of skills (such as new employee orientation).

Ineligible Training Costs:

The following is a non-exhaustive list of costs that are ineligible for reimbursements and will not be calculated as part of the employer’s contribution:
-Business owners may not request compensation for conducting training
-Fringe benefits (only an employee’s base salary can be factored into the cost of training)
-Equipment, including leased equipment such as copiers or laptops computers
-Travel expenses
-Renovation of facilities
-Costs related to hiring a temporary worker to perform the duties of an employee being trained. Only the wages of the employee being trained can be factored into the cost of the project.
-Any on-the-job training cost outside of trainee wages.
-Purchase of tools that will facilitate the tracking of outcomes.
-Training funds cannot be used for items that produce goods or services for sale.

Pre-Application Information:

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) covers up to 70% of the costs. Business applicants must contribute at least 30% - 40% of program costs:

Businesses with more than 125 employees:
-Base Customized Training Award: Up to 50% of the total cost
-Administrative Payment: Additional 10% of total training cost
-Maximum Award: Up to 60% of total costs

Businesses with less than 125 employees:
-Base Customized Training Award: Up to 60% of the total cost
-Administrative Payment: Additional 10% of total training cost
-Maximum Award: Up to 70% of total costs

For Joint Applicants, award will be determined based on the average size of the businesses. If the two businesses have a total of 125 employees or more, Customized Training will cover up to 50% of the total cost. If the majority of businesses have fewer than 125 employees, Customized Training will cover up to 60% of the total cost.

The employer contribution cannot come from an organization applying on behalf of joint applicants. At the employer’s discretion, third-party organizers may receive some or all of the administrative payment given to Customized Training recipients.

To apply, submit a pre-application to determine if your business is eligible. This should take you about three to five minutes. Once you've submitted a pre-application, an SBS staff member will follow up with you to clarify any responses and if eligible, pass along the full application.

There are six submission deadlines per calendar year. Once submitted, an evaluation committee will vote to determine which businesses will be awarded. A SBS staff member will let you know their decision that same day.

The deadline and decision dates for the coming year can be found in the table below:
-Submit application by Friday, February 3, 2017 to receive a decision by March 31, 2017
-Submit application by Friday, April 7, 2017 to receive a decision by May 31, 2017
-Submit application by Friday, June 9, 2017 to receive a decision by July 31, 2017
-Submit application by Friday, August 11, 2017 to receive a decision by September 30, 2017
-Submit application by Friday, October 13, 2017 to receive a decision by November 30, 2017
-Submit application by Friday, December 15, 2017 to receive a decision by January 31, 2018

Above dates are meant to serve as a guide and are subject to change without notice. The Customized Training program, SBS, and Workforce Development Corporation are not responsible for any actions taken in reliance on the schedule above.

Customized Training awards are paid out on a reimbursement-basis.

Business applicants may use the Training Provider Directory for assistance with a training provider search:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a Pre-Application:

Contact Form:

(212) 618-6765

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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