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How to Pay for Workforce Training

As a business leader, you know that your employees are your competitive advantage. You know how valuable training can be for your employees. And the numbers back it up. One study suggests that for every dollar spent on training, your business gets over $4.53 in return on investment. The investment in training programs is worthwhile, but how do you budget for your initial investment?  

Why Provide Ongoing Skills Training 

When employees participate in training, it improves their skills and knowledge of the job and builds their confidence in their abilities. This will improve their performance and make them work more efficiently and effectively. It can also improve an employee’s overall job satisfaction and help your retention efforts. When you invest in training, it sends a message that you value their contributions and want to help them develop their skills.  

Training Grants Available 

If you have an Iowa-based business or center of operations, you may be eligible for grant funds if the training is facilitated by your local community college. There are two grants available for manufacturing and workforce training, specifically: 

Iowa New Jobs Training Program (260E)  

This training program was developed to assist businesses that are expanding operations or locating a new facility in Iowa. This program can provide flexible funding to meet the wide variety of training and employee development needs of a new or expanding business. The grant covers basic adult education, job-related instruction (or on-the-job training), skills assessments, testing and evaluation of employees, and travel reimbursement. 

Your business won’t have an up-front investment if it participates in this grant. The community college issues training certificates to pay for the project costs. These training certificates are repaid by diverting 1.5 percent and/or 3% of the increased payroll withholding tax revenues from the creation of new jobs. 

Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F) 

This training program helps Iowa businesses fund customized training for current employees.  The program is designed to foster the growth and competitiveness of Iowa’s business and industry by ensuring that Iowa’s workforce has the skills and expertise to compete with any workforce outside the state of Iowa. The grant covers basic adult education, job-related instruction (or on-the-job training), skills assessments, testing and evaluation of employees, and travel reimbursement. 

Each of Iowa’s community colleges assists businesses with the development of training plans that are funded by forgivable loans. The maximum award is $25,000 for each project at a business site.  A business site may be approved for multiple projects-with maximum funding over three years not to exceed $100,000.  A cash match is required for projects exceeding $4,999. 

Who is Eligible? 

These training opportunities are designed to teach technical skills and are geared towards local manufacturers. Businesses in healthcare and retail are not eligible to participate in these grant opportunities.  

If you are considering implementing a training program for your business, connect with your local community college. At Iowa Valley, workforce training is facilitated by the Continuing Education division. Contact Iowa Valley to discuss customizing a training program that is right for your business.  

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