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Downing highlights new flexibility in Workforce Training Fund application process
February 16, 2012

BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) is pleased to highlight today’s announcement by Joanne F. Goldstein, state Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, regarding the Workforce Training Fund.
 
The Secretary’s decision increases the flexibility of the Workforce Training Fund application process to respond to the evolving needs of businesses across the Commonwealth. The key new features are that businesses may now submit applications for training funds on a rolling basis as well as apply for a grant via consortia.
 
“The Secretary previewed these changes to the application process in our recent meeting,” said Downing. “She was excited about the potential to reach more western Massachusetts employers and employees, and so am I.  I encourage local businesses to take a look at the Workforce Training Fund and take advantage of this resource.”
 
The Workforce Training Fund is a state fund enacted into law in July 1998; it is financed entirely by Massachusetts employers. Its purpose is to provide resources to Massachusetts businesses and workers to train current and newly hired employees.
 
The Fund is a great opportunity for organizations to build workers’ skills. Employers may apply for grants of up to $25,000 for technical assistance programs, or they may apply for grants of up to $250,000 for full training programs. Training programs may last up to two years.
 
Businesses are encouraged to apply for a grant via consortia. Third parties may apply on behalf of and manage grants for a business consortium and up to 10% of a grant may be used to cover associated administrative costs.
 
Third parties may include community colleges, workforce investment boards, community-based organizations, chambers of commerce, and career centers among others.
 
“Rolling deadlines offer companies the opportunity to seek grants in a time-frame that best suits their business needs,” said Secretary Goldstein. “We also encourage small businesses to take advantage of the consortia application to leverage the strengths of fellow collaborators to navigate today’s ever-changing marketplace.”
 
Under the Patrick-Murray Administration, over $58.8 million has been used to train over 79,605 Massachusetts workers since 2007.
 
Potential applicants are encouraged to visit http://www.mass.gov/wtfp for additional information and requirements.
 
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