Nebraska Department of Labor
Grants to Nebraska employers and labor organizations for workforce training and development programs. The purpose of this program is to expand the state’s skill pool through projects that enhance earning capacity and job security for workers while building productivity. Training improves the quality of goods and services and provides skills needed in today’s workplaces that benefit Nebraska.
The Worker Training Program is a business incentive program to support the retraining and upgrading of Nebraska’s current workforce. Individual businesses will decide the type of training needed and how long the training project will take. Companies also decide who will provide training.
Training programs proposed for funding by the Nebraska Training and Support Cash Fund should:
-Encourage business investment in private job training programs designed to train, retrain, or upgrade work skills of existing Nebraska workers.
-Train new employees of expanding Nebraska businesses,
-Promote the retention of Nebraska workers.
-Promote the expansion of Nebraska businesses and increase their competitive edge.
-Develop program participants' marketable skills and competencies, increase their earning power and result in secure jobs for those who successfully complete training.
-Assist in attracting skilled workers to Nebraska.
1. It is the intent of the Board that the Commissioner shall give consideration to the size, industry, and geographic location of grant applicants.
2. It is the goal of the Board that 20 percent of grant funds will be awarded to small employers, 20 percent to mid-size employers, 20 percent to large employers, 20 percent for training initiatives designated by the Commissioner that provide significant economic benefits to a region or the state, and up to 20 percent for special employment training projects and apprenticeship training programs.
3. A grant may not be awarded for a project if the project will impair existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements, except that a project inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement may be undertaken with the written concurrence of the collective bargaining unit and the employer or employers who are parties to the agreement.
Special Employment Training Projects:
The Commissioner may allocate up to 20 percent of the annually available training funds for funding special employment training projects and apprenticeship training programs by:
1. Supporting retraining for workers, in occupations that pay 100 percent of the state or regional average hourly wage, provided that the employment may not result in earnings of less than 95 percent of the state average hourly wage.
2. Encouraging the development of the new industries, including advanced technology industries, that contribute to high-skilled, high-wage, high demand employment and economic vitality of Nebraska by supporting training programs advancing the development of new industries in the state resulting from the grant applicant’s training and/or retraining programs.
3. Supporting efforts that address the training and employment of workers affected by industry downsizing.
4. Stabilizing employment in fields where there is a demonstrated deficit of trained employees and clear career advancement opportunities.
5. Supporting small business entrepreneurial training in business management and related skills for workers to enhance the competitive position of business with at least one full-time but fewer than 10 full-time employees that are registered with the Department and have paid unemployment insurance taxes for at least six months prior to contract development.
6. Supporting apprenticeship training programs by paying training stipends to participants in apprenticeship training programs. Training stipends shall be distributed directly to the apprenticeship training provider for distribution to participants who successfully complete the apprenticeship training. The apprenticeship training provider shall send a claim for reimbursement to the Commissioner for training stipends paid by the provider, but not more often than monthly.
7. Support training programs for workers of reimbursable employers when the training involves high skill, high wage, or high demand positions.
Priority shall be given to projects which:
1. Provide retraining for workers in occupations that pay 100 percent of the state or regional average hourly wage.
2. Encouraging the development of new industries, including advanced technology industries which contribute to high-skilled, high-wage, high demand employment and economic vitality of Nebraska.
3. Support efforts that address the training and employment of workers in industries offering opportunities for increased employment opportunities and avoid possible adverse impacts on future employment opportunities offered by the employer.
4. Support an employer’s diversification of its product line and the production of new goods or services which will improve the employer's competitive position within the industry.
5. Provide training in manufacturing techniques or skills needed in manufacturing which are in short supply.
6. Provide for the provision of matching funds, as determined in accordance with Paragraph VIII below, in an amount at least equal to the total amount provided by the grant and apprenticeship training programs by the employer or employers benefiting from the project.
Costs related to direct training may include:
c. Books and classroom materials,
d. Rental costs during the term of the project,
e. Reasonable pre- and post-training participant costs for the purchase of approved curricula specified in the applicant’s training plan if there is not already a course offering at a convenient public education institution for which the grant is paying tuition and fees,
f. Costs of curriculum design,
g. Wages, salaries and reasonable benefits of instructors and instructional aides,
h. The purchase or construction of a specialized facility or equipment whose use is limited to the type of training specified in the grant application, particularly facilities or equipment providing for training in skill sets particular to emerging industries; and
i. In the case of apprenticeship training programs provided by a labor organization to its members, if the training program involves at least six hours of training in a single calendar day, a training stipend for each trainee in an amount not to exceed one-fifth of the maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount available on the date of application (as determined in accordance with Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-624) for each day the worker attends the apprenticeship training program; and
j. Other reasonable cost related directly to the training provided.
GrantWatch ID#: 178566
The amount of grant funding available quarterly is distributed on the basis of size of firm, type of industry, geographic location, and demand occupations that broaden the skill pool and benefit the local and state economy.
The length of time for a specific project is determined by the employer. Projects have been proposed which range from three days to two years. The program cannot insure ongoing funding for multi-year projects, but employers may resubmit applications for additional funding or prioritize and submit component parts of an overall project.
All established, Nebraska, for-profit businesses that contribute to the State Unemployment Insurance Trust (SUIT) fund are eligible. Reimbursable employers to the state Unemployment System may participate if partnered in a consortium with contributory employers, with a significant percentage of those being trained coming from contributory employers.
The following entities may apply to the Commissioner for a grant under this Program:
1. One or more employers:
a. Seeking to secure training for demand occupations in a particular industry; Acting in partnership with an employer organization, labor organization, or community-based organization to secure training for demand occupations in a particular industry; or
b. Acting in partnership with a consortium of one or more training providers to secure training for demand occupations in a particular industry.
2. One or more labor organizations or other entities providing an apprenticeship training program.
Except as provided in Paragraph 1 (H) above or for good cause shown as determined by the Commissioner, reimbursement for costs related to direct training may not include:
a. The lease, rental, purchase or construction of facilities;
b. The purchase of capital equipment;
c. Salaries, wages, or benefits paid to personnel assigned to manage or report on the project or the contract agreement;
d. Costs incurred for the preparation of an application;
e. Costs incurred prior to the submission of the application.
Grant funds are available for the training and retraining of the existing Nebraska workforce. This program is unable to reimburse for training that has already taken place.
Minimum employer matching funds should be at least equal to the amount of funding requested. Matching funds greater than 1:1 (2:1, 3:1, 4:1 etc.) display a commitment to training. Wages paid, space rental or equipment used may be considered as an in-kind (matching) contribution.
Any eligible employer or apprenticeship training program requesting funds for training purposes shall complete a grant application.
The Department may provide technical assistance to applicants in formulating the required training plan. Such assistance may include direct assistance by Department staff or referral to local or regional sources of technical assistance such as local or regional providers, Small Business Development Centers, local or regional economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, business and trade associations, or such other sources as the employer may decide to use. The Department will provide technical assistance only at the request of the applicant.
The Worker Training Board has set its tentative schedule for 2018:
-First quarter grant applications: Deadline 12/31/17; The Board will meet 1/24/18
-Second quarter applications: Deadline 3/31/18; The Board will meet 4/25/18
-Third quarter applications: Deadline 6/30/18; The Board will meet 7/25/18
-Fourth quarter applications: Deadline 9/30/18; The Board will meet 10/24/18