Ohio has recently allocated $50 million to a new training program that will reimburse employers in certain markets up to 50% of the cost of training qualified employees. The funds allocated to this program are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so timing is of the essence. The online application process opens Monday, January 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
This program is known as the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program (“Program”). The program was funded pursuant to the Ohio state budget enacted on June 30, 2011 (H.B. 153, Sec. 261.20.90, as modified by H.B. 487, Sec. 261.20.90, effective June 11, 2012).
What is the Reimbursement?
Eligible employers could be reimbursed up to 50% of their qualified training costs for qualified employees. The maximum reimbursement per eligible employee is up to $4,000 with a maximum reimbursement per eligible employer of $500,000. There will be $20 million available in fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 and $30 million available in fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.
Employers will be required to submit an application with the Department. The qualified applications will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The eligible employees must commence the qualified training within six months of the application and all training must be completed on or before June 30, 2013.
Who is an Eligible Employer?
An eligible employer is one located in Ohio that is operating a for-profit entity in a state designated industry. The employer must have been in continuous operation in Ohio for the 12 months immediately prior to the application. State designated industries are: Advanced Manufacturing; Aerospace and Aviation; Automotive; BioHealth; Corporate Headquarters; Energy; Financial Services; Food Processing; Information Services and Software; and Polymers and Chemicals.
Who is an Eligible Employee?
To be an eligible employee, one must be directly employed by the eligible employer at a facility in Ohio. In addition, the following requirements must also be met:
- Be an Ohio resident
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Work at least 25 hours a week;
- Earns an hourly wage of at least 150 percent of the federal minimum wage (which is $10.88 as of January 1, 2012) plus benefits; and
- Be employed in any of the following business functions for the employer: back office operations, information technology; logistics; production or research and development.
What is Considered Eligible Training?
The following are considered eligible training activities:
- Classes, either credit or non-credit, at an accredited education institution;
- Training that leads to an industry recognized certificate;
- Training provided in conjunction with the purchase of a new piece of equipment;
- Upgrade of computer skills
- Training for the ICD-10-CM/PCS diagnostics classification system (regardless of whether the employee works for a for-profit or non-profit employer);
- Training from a national, regional, or state trade association that offers an independently certified training curriculum and testing; and
- Training for improved process efficiency (i.e. Lean Manufacturing)
The following are ineligible activities (list is not all inclusive):
- Training that is already being reimbursed by another State or Federal training program (i.e. Ohio Workforce Guarantee);
- Continuing Education Units required for continued professional certification;
- Soft skills training;
- Training which is reimbursed/required by other public agencies or departments ;
- General Equivalency Diploma;
- Profit oriented courses (i.e. sales trainings);
- Conference fees;
- Wages of trainees while being trained; and
- Travel costs
How to Apply
- The employer/employee determines a need in an employee’s workforce skill set and identifies a training opportunity to advance the employee’s workforce skills
- The employer or employee (with the employer’s approval) completes the online application at least 30 days, but not more than six months, prior to the start date of the training.
- The on-line application can be found on the Ohio Means Jobs website at the following link: http://OhioMeansJobs.com/omj/employer/home.do
- Staff at the Development Services Agency (DSA) will review the application for employer, employee, and training eligibility
- If the application meets the program requirements, the process to include the employee and training into a voucher agreement between the Department and the employer will begin.
- Training started or paid for before the agreement is executed will not be eligible for reimbursement.
Not sure if you qualify or need help completing the process for the Program? Post a comment below or contact Tax Planning & Preparation Group at (440) 449-6800.