State funded employee training.
When workers lack needed training and businesses experience skill gaps, the company’s ability to compete, expand and retain workers can be compromised. Florida’s Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Program, funded by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and administered by Career Source Florida addresses such needs. The IWT Program was created for the purpose of providing grant funding for continuing education and training of incumbent employees at existing Florida businesses. The program will provide reimbursement grants to businesses that pay for pre approved, direct, training related costs. Currently, companies may receive a reimbursement rate up to 50 percent or 75 percent (see Funding Priorities below for details).
The program helps established Florida businesses upgrade the skills of their current employees which provides enormous benefits to include:
Available Funding & Maximum Awards Amount
The total amount of funding available for all training projects in 2020-2021 is $6 million. Applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis until available funding has been awarded. A notification will be posted on when funds are no longer available.
For the year beginning July 1, 2020, the maximum amount is $200,000 per grant, per company. If a company has more than one location in Florida, they are treated as either one company or separate companies depending upon the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). If the locations operate under different FEINs, they will be considered separate companies that will need to submit separate applications and receive separate awards. If the locations operate under one FEIN, then they will be considered one company and will therefore need to join their training efforts, submit one application and receive one award.
▪ Advancement Opportunities
▪ Increased Job Opportunities
▪ Industry Recognized Credentials
▪ Job Retention
▪ Increased Competitiveness
▪ Company Growth
▪ Reduced Turnover
With a focus on helping Florida’s small businesses, the grants reimburse companies up to 75 percent for pre-approved training costs. For companies that meet specific criteria, the reimbursement percentage is increased to 75 percent. These specific criteria include:
• Having 50 or fewer employees
• Being in a rural area, rural county, distressed area, Brownfield or Hub zone
While not required, priority is given to:
• First time business applicants;
• Businesses in a qualified targeted industry;
• Businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant upgrade in employee skills;
• Businesses who are seeking to utilize the program to train individuals with barriers to employment; and
• Businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy.
While this priority does not include an increased reimbursement percentage, applications that meet one of these conditions will receive priority during times of limited funding.
Incumbent Worker Definition
For the purposes of the IWT program, an Incumbent Worker is defined as follows:
• At least one employee of the applicant business, working at least 37.5 hours per week and receives a W2;
At least 18 years of age
A citizen of the United States or a non-citizen whose status permits employment in the United States;
A Florida resident working at a physical location in Florida
Employed six months before the signature date of the application.
Be a “for-profit” company in the State of Florida
In operation for a minimum of one (1) year prior to the application date (as verified on sunbiz.org)
Provide a description of how the training is related to the competitiveness of both the business and the employee receiving training.
Demonstrate a commitment to retain or avert the layoff of employees receiving training.
Demonstrate financial viability by providing:
Their most recently filed IRS Form 941 (if the business is a Corporation) or a most recently filed copy of the 1040 Income Tax Return with Schedule SE (if the business is a Sole Proprietorship).
A letter of Tax Clearance from the Florida Department of Revenue dated within 45 days of application submittal.
A letter from your bank on bank letterhead verifying your company has done business for at least the last six (6) months and is in good standing will be required or a credit check will be completed.
W-9 form (2018 or newer)
Compliant with the non-discrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Education
Companies applying for an IWT grant must meet the following criteria:
Amendments of 1972 and with 29 C.F.R. Part 37.
o Have at least one full-time employee (must be Florida Resident AND W-2 employee). The employees W-2 must match the company name that is on the application. For a sole proprietor where the business owner is the only employee, the sole proprietor may be considered as the full-time employee.
o Have not received an award in the previous or current program year.
*The FEIN on all documents must be the same.
The IWT Program Application must be completed online (emailed, mailed or faxed application will not be accepted). The online application is the only document that may be used to apply for the IWT grant.
• The contract will set forth all processes and expectations for administering,
implementing, and completing the training. If the contract is not executed within the 45-day time frame, the grant award becomes null and void unless permission is granted by the Grants Manager.
• Length of Contract
Training must be completed within 12 months from the date of approval. From there, the company will have 60 days to submit final reimbursement requests for training completed during the contract period.
There is no provision in the contract for extensions. A business is expected to have carefully assessed its training needs so that it will apply only for the funds needed for training that can be completed in a 12-month time frame.