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Workforce programs offer grants, tax breaks for manufacturers

May 22, 2012

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Workforce programs hope to increase skilled workers

Despite the large numbers of layoffs in manufacturing in recent years, even in today’s economy many employers say they can’t find enough skilled workers to fill available jobs. To close the gap, federal and state governments are distributing millions of dollars in Workforce Innovation Fund grants and other tax breaks to support employment and training services. We discuss how these financial incentives may be the key to filling vacant positions and boosting profitability. We also cover more specifically some of these workforce grants and programs …

Many available manufacturing jobs require a highly technical skill set. Retraining employees and preparing young people for these demands helps U.S. workers compete in the global market. Work training programs combine in-class education with hands-on work experience to equip workers with the necessary knowledge to succeed in manufacturing.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor will distribute up to $100 million in 2012 through the Workforce Innovation Fund to sponsor Pay for Success (PFS) initiatives for several program areas, including workforce development, education, juvenile justice and care of children with disabilities. PFS programs reduce government risk by paying for programs that meet only pre-agreed social and fiscal outcomes, such as a reduction in the recidivism rate for discharged prisoners or a decrease in the number of high school dropouts in a particular area.

Apprenticeship program tax breaks

Employers can also take advantage of financial incentives through government-registered apprenticeship programs. These programs provide on-the-job learning in a number of industries, including manufacturing.

Most workforce funding is provided on the state and local levels. Grant amounts and tax breaks vary by state. Manufacturers interested in implementing apprenticeship programs should visit their local Employment and Training Administration office or CareerOneStop center.

You can customize registered apprenticeship programs to match your needs and requirements. And the programs can provide a steady pipeline of well-trained workers who fit in with your company’s culture, as well as offer attractive tax benefits.

Aside from building new employees’ skills, registered apprenticeship programs offer state-specific apprenticeship tax credits and tuition benefits. These tax benefits offset the cost of training for new employees brought on through registered programs. To find your local office and learn more about available funding, visit .

Investing in workers of the future

Workers who apprentice can gain expertise in their field faster and more efficiently, and learn their trade from trusted company employees. Businesses across the country recognize apprenticeship certifications through registered programs. This holistic approach to training helps attract and retain the highly skilled, qualified workers your manufacturing business needs to enhance its productivity.

Workforce grants and programs

Workforce Innovation Fund. This fund is a federal grant program that supports innovative strategies, policies and system reforms that can improve the effectiveness of workforce development programs.Pay for Success (PFS) programs. With PFS programs, state and local governments contract for social service programs to address a societal need. A philanthropic funder pays for the program. The contractor must agree to meet targeted social outcomes — for the sponsor to be reimbursed, these metrics must be met. If the project meets its goals, the government reimburses the funder for its investment. PFS programs are supported by the Workforce Innovation Fund.

For more information on Workforce Innovation Funds and PFS programs, visit www.doleta.gov/workforce_innovation.

Government-registered apprenticeship programs. These programs are operated by private and public sector agencies and sponsored by employers, employer associations and labor/management organizations. Sponsors pay for most training costs and provide apprentices with high-level career training. Companies participating in a registered program are also eligible for a tax break. Tax benefits vary by state. For more information about apprenticeship programs and the accompanying tax breaks, visit www.doleta.gov/oa/.

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.

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