WHITPAIN — Grants that can help companies provide training for their employees are now available. Montgomery County Community College’s Workforce Development Division is urging businesses in the county to apply for funding through the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA) for the new fiscal year, which began July 1.
WEDnetPA is a state training reimbursement grant program to help eligible businesses pay for workforce training. As one of the state’s 22 partners for the program this year, Montgomery County Community college receives an annual allocation, which it distributes to companies to help them with the costs of workforce training.
WEDnetPA partners are located throughout Pennsylvania, giving companies a focal point to assist throughout the process — from completing an application to submitting invoices for reimbursement. WEDnetPA partners can also serve as a potential training provider. Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University are also WEDnetPA partners.
At Montgomery County Community College, MCCC, the college’s Workforce Development Division works with companies to develop customized training that is designed to meet their needs.
Last year, MCCC was able to help more than 20 area companies to train their employees, “which helped them to invest in growth and increase their overall competitive advantage,” according to a press release.
“In today’s environment, where it is difficult to find and retain qualified talent, it is more important than ever to invest in training your workforce,” Bernadette DeBias, MCCC’s director of workforce development, said in a statement. She manages WEDnetPA for the college. “Through the WEDnetPA grant, we can help our Montgomery County companies offset the cost of that training.”
Some examples of the customized training the college has provided include: project management skills for banking staff; communication skills for functional area leaders; DISC assessments and leadership for a pharmaceutical supply chain company; Lean Training that enabled an entire company to adopt a lean approach to business; OSHA 10, Electrical Safety and OSHA 30 for a manufacturing company in the clinical supply chain of pharmaceuticals.
“We can provide customized training in-person or virtually for companies via our qualified trainers, who are not only excellent teachers and subject-matter experts, but who also work in the industry and are proficient in identifying company needs and creating training solutions,” DeBias added.
The college said it currently has about $69,000 of remaining WEDnetPA funds for 2022-2023. Eligible industries include manufacturing, healthcare (certain restrictions apply), information technology, and any company with a commercial/industrial client base. Retail companies are not eligible.
According to the WEDnetPA website, to be eligible for a WEDnetPA grant, companies must be located in Pennsylvania; in an eligible industry; cannot receive funding more than two years in a row or three years out of any five-year period. In addition, companies with an employee turnover rate of 25% or more may not be eligible.
For employees to be eligible they must be a resident of and employed in Pennsylvania; earn at least $10.88 per hour, excluding benefits; permanently employed full-time and eligible for full-time benefits; and an employee of the specific company location for which a contract is awarded.
For training to be eligible it must be skill building for current job, advancement or promotion; must start and be completed within the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) for which the funds are awarded; training costs must be “reasonable” as defined by market rates and other criteria; each training session must be a minimum of 30 minutes in length.
To learn more about WEDnetPA and to get started with the application process, contact Bernadette DeBias ([email protected]) or Katina Faulk ([email protected]) to discuss eligibility, process, and training plans.
Since its inception in 1999, more than 1.2 million Pennsylvania employees across more than 20,000 companies across the state have used WEDnetPA workforce training for their employees.