State of Ohio Announces Training Voucher Program

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The Ohio Development Services Agency is launching round two of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program.

A pre-application is now available beginning September 4, 2013 for businesses who want financial help to train their current workforce. $27 million in grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for the grant program will be accepted for review on September 30, 2013 beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Visit the Ohio Development Services Agency's website to review the guidelines and application instructions for this program and to access the pre-application.

For assistance with the application or additional questions, please contact Kelly Keefe, ERC's Director of Training at 440-947-1284 or kkeefe@yourERC.com

Frequently Asked Quesions

Who is eligible to apply for the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program?

An eligible employer is one who operates as a for-profit entity in a state-designated targeted industry, with a facility located in Ohio that has been in continuous operation for the 12 months immediately prior to the application submittal.  Targeted industries are: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, Automotive, BioHealth, Corporate Headquarters, Energy, Financial Services, Food Processing, Information Technology and Services, Polymers and Chemicals, Back Office, Logistics, or Research and Development.  The company’s NAICS code (http://www.naics.com/search.htm) will determine eligibility as to the targeted industry.

How will the Voucher for the program be awarded?

Vouchers will be awarded in the form of a Voucher Agreement between the Ohio Development Services Agency and the employer.  The program will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until all of the available funds are committed.  After that time, applications will still be accepted and retained in a “queue” in the event that additional program funds become available.

The program allows for up to $4,000 per employee per fiscal year. What is the timespan of the fiscal year?

The state of Ohio fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.  Please note, however, that the training period for this program will be between August 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

The program allows for $250,000 per employer per fiscal year. How is that calculated?

Each employer (identified by Federal Employee Identification Number/FEIN) will be eligible for up to $250,000 in assistance per fiscal year. The Voucher Agreement and any Supplements to the Master Voucher Agreement issued to an employer during the fiscal year, aggregated throughout all of its State of Ohio locations, will be included in this calculation.  Please note that only one application per employer will be accepted per program year.  If an employer has multiple sites, those sites must work together to submit the one application. An application may include multiple employees and multiple training courses.

What is the employer reimbursement amount for this program?

We will reimburse the employer for up to 50 percent of the cost of the training (up to $4,000 per employee and/or up to $250,000 per company) once the employer pays the full cost of the training.  The employer’s contribution must come from private sources and cannot include any previously acquired public funds.  The match does not include wages.

After the application is submitted, how long does an employee have to begin the training?

Training must begin August 1, 2013 or later and must be completed by June 30, 2014.

When can the employee training begin?

While the Effective Date of the Agreement will be August 1, 2013, any costs incurred or monies expended by the applicant on the project prior to final approval and the execution of the written agreement, is done at the applicant’s own risk.  Applicant’s decision to go forward does not obligate the State of Ohio to provide state assistance that has not received all required approvals or has not been memorialized in a written agreement between the applicant and the state of Ohio.

All training must begin August 1, 2013 or later and must be completed by June 30, 2014.

Does reimbursement apply even when the company has a tuition reimbursement program as part of its benefit package?  Do the courses have to be strictly related to the business?

The OIWTVP will provide reimbursement funds for tuition courses when the course meets the needs of the applicant company.  Therefore, the course must be required by the company and be job related, regardless of the requirement for a degree.  Tuition courses which are for the sole purpose of obtaining a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree are not eligible for this program.

8 Keys to Managing Training & Development

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8 Keys to Managing Training & Development

Strategically investing in your staff's training and development, nurturing their talents, and building their skill sets helps your organization achieve its desired results, enhances your company's culture, and assists your leaders in better managing talent.

As a result, properly managing staff training is important and involves evaluating and prioritizing learning needs, creating and planning staff development initiatives, managing the administration of these programs and their costs, as well as measuring results.

Here are 8 keys to managing staff training and development.
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Northeast Ohio Employers Committed to Training & Development

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The results of the 2013 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey offer a snapshot of the various approaches to training and developing employees that are being taken by Northeast Ohio employers. Highlights from these methods are outlined below.

Making technology work for you

If your organization is looking to help existing employees develop their skills at your organization, technology can be one of your strongest allies. Overall, about 71% of employers indicated they utilize some type of web-based trainings as at least one portion of their larger training program.
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Companies Share Common Internship Program Goals

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As the school year begins to wind down, your organization may be looking to hire some additional support over the summer in the form of a college intern. While each organization will undoubtedly vary in terms of the specific needs the internship is designed to fill, the results of the 2013 ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Graduate Survey strongly suggest that in general, organizations hiring interns are doing so with a common set of goals in mind.

Top among these goals are “developing a talent pipeline”, “assisting with special project work”, and “obtaining affordable workforce support”. Reaching the two latter goals sounds fairly straight forward- hire an intern for a few months over the summer and hand off some administrative busy-work. However, this conventional approach to internships fails to help, and in many cases may actually hinder, organizations looking to realize the lasting benefits associated with “developing a talent pipeline”. Instead of taking a passive approach to internships, developing a talent pipeline requires a more actively engaged employer.
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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

Not only have gender-related leadership conversations emerged lately in the media, the attraction, retention, and development of talented women has become an important issue for many employers in recent years. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to develop and support more female leaders in their workplace.

"We seem to be getting more and more requests lately for training and coaching programs that address the specific needs of women in the workplace," says Chris Kutsko, Director of Learning & Development at ERC. She explains, "Subjects like Assertiveness, Personal Branding, Empowerment, and Leadership for Women are topics that are getting more attention. In addition, C-Level executives are making a more conscious effort to equip their female leaders with the tools, training, and support to help them achieve higher levels within the organization."

Developing more female leaders sometimes raises challenges and questions for organizations, in terms of how they can support, train, and develop them, as their needs are often different from male leaders. Here are some suggestions.
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Top 5 Trends in Training & Developing Talent

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Training and development is a critical aspect of an organization's talent management strategy. Every organization needs to invest in it to attract and retain talent and grow their employees' knowledge base and capabilities. Here are five current trends influencing training and development.

Trend #1: Training is a means of keeping, developing, and rewarding talent.

Training has evolved into not only a means of developing employees’ skills, but also a strategy to retain, develop, and reward key talent. In ERC's 2012 Talent Management Practices Survey, the majority (57%) of organizations say they use training and development opportunities as a strategy to retain top or key talent and 61% use it as a way to reward and recognize employees.
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$20 Million in Training Grant Dollars Available to Ohio Companies

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Update (1/10/13): As of January 10, 2013 over 400 applications have been submitted for the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency (formerly Ohio Department of Development), many more companies have begun applications. The Ohio Development Services Agency is still encouraging companies to apply for funding.

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program has been officially announced, making $20 million available for training opportunities to enhance worker skills.

The ultimate goal of this program is twofold: allow employers to retain and grow their existing Ohio workforce and create a statewide workforce that can meet the present and future demands in an ever changing economy.

Applications are now available at www.OhioMeansJobs.com. Funding is made available on a first come, first served basis. The caps on the program funding will be $500,000 per eligible company and/or $4,000 per eligible employee, with a reimbursement rate of up to 50%; all training must begin and be completed between February 4, 2013 and June 30, 2013.
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Training: Building Your Talent and the Economy

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Organizations in Northeast Ohio have long understood the importance of offering training and development opportunities to their employees. Whether training is being used as a strategy for attracting and retaining top talent to overall workforce development, ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey consistently reports that between 80 and 90 percent of organizations provide their employees with financial assistance to upgrade their skills. This percentage is even higher among NorthCoast 99 winners with 96% of these top workplaces offering workshops, trainings, conferences, etc to their top performers.

Training as an Attraction & Retention Strategy

Offering training and development opportunities was cited as is the top strategy, after direct monetary incentives, used to attract and retain top talent from a sample of 102 Northeast Ohio organizations participating in the 2012 ERC Talent Management Practices Survey. This commitment to building a skilled employee base is further demonstrated through the financial commitment made by these organizations. For example, 82% of respondents report offering financial assistance to employees who wish to pursue job-related training, 79% contribute financially towards conferences and 72% put money towards costs associated with professional societies/organizations on behalf of employees.

Training as a Factor for Economic Recovery

In addition to being beneficial for individual employers and their employees, training is also singled out as a key component for economic recovery. In an issue from November, 2012 of Fortune magazine, Nina Easton takes this one step further. She suggests that not only is training key for a recovery, but also warns that without significant investments in training from corporate America, the “job crisis” plaguing the U.S. economy for the past few years is likely to worsen. In today’s global market, she continues, U.S. employers hold the fate of their own recovery in their own hands. According to Easton, if we don’t invest in building the skills of employees here at home the so called “skills-gap” will continue to grow- a trend which she argues could be used by U.S. employers, “as an excuse to go on a shopping spree overseas for talent.”

While the survey data above demonstrates that many Northeast Ohio employers already recognize the importance of a well trained workforce, if Easton and other experts like her are correct, the influence that these organizations can have on the business climate may run even deeper than they realize- right to the heart of the economic recovery.

Additional Resources

Technical Training
Give your people the knowledge and skills to become a more efficient and productive employee. ERC offers a wide variety of technical training courses that are important to the success of your business. Click here for more info.

Free Training Planning Worksheet

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Planning and organizing employee training for an entire year can be a challenge. That's why we're providing you with a simple worksheet to help you chart and organize the types of training classes that will be offered in a given year, the individuals who will attend those classes, their perceived skill level, and the timing of when they will attend training throughout the year.

Download Worksheet (Excel)

 

Instructions

Here are some simple instructions:

  1. Chart the individuals in your organization under the column "Name" and their corresponding department or position in the second column.
  2. List the classes that your organization plans to offer during the upcoming year at the top of the chart.
  3. Color code the cells for each individual based on the degree to which each employee needs training in a specific topic area or skill.
  4. Within each cell, insert the timing (month or month and day) of when you plan to offer this class or when each employee will attend this class.
  5. Insert any relevant comments around the individual.

Budgeting Assistance

Need quotes for particular training programs? Contact Chris Kutsko at (440)947-1286 or ckutsko@yourerc.com. You can also view ERC's full catalog of employee training courses online.