Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Program Hiring Incentive Training Grant

 

What Is the Workforce Training Fund?

The mission of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund is to provide businesses with the resources needed to invest in the Massachusetts workforce, improve employee skills, and to maintain the economic strength and viability of the Commonwealth’s businesses. 

What Is the Hiring Incentive Training Grant (HITG) Program?

The HITG is a program designed to encourage employers to hire Massachusetts residents who are military veterans or have been unemployed for 6 months or more.  The HITG program does so by providing direct grants to employers to cover the costs associated with recruiting and training newly hired employees.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to apply?

Employer Eligibility Requirements:  To qualify for HITG, employers must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be in good standing with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue;
  • Must be current with all obligations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Unemployment Insurance payments and Workers Compensation coverage requirements;
  • Must not be a unit of local, state, or federal government;
  • Must not be debarred from doing business with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the Federal Government; AND
  • Must contribute to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund.  (Please Note: All for-profit companies and some non-profit organizations contribute to the WTF.  To confirm eligibility, please contact us using the information below.)

Employee (“New Hire Trainee”) Eligibility Requirements:          To qualify for HITG, new hires must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a Massachusetts resident;
  • Must be a new employee on company payroll (Please note: Workers employed by a third party, such as a staffing firm are not eligible.  Self-employed individuals or contractors are not eligible. Additional restrictions may apply to seasonal workers.);
  • Must not be a company owner (full or partial) or a relative of any owners of the company; AND
  • Must be either:
    • Any Massachusetts resident who has been unemployed for at least 6 months prior to the start of employment,  OR
    • A Massachusetts resident who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged, regardless of length of unemployment (DD214 required);

Are non-profit organizations eligible to apply for HITG funds?

To qualify, an employer must contribute to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund.  Although all Massachusetts, for-profit employers contribute to the Workforce Training Fund via a surcharge on UI payments, some non-profits do not.  This is determined by the method selected for UI coverage.  Find out more about options for Non-Profit or Governmental Employer.  Non-profit organizations who select the “contributory method” are paying into the WTFP and are therefore eligible to apply.  Those who select the “reimbursable method” are paying a discounted rate that does not include contribution to the WTFP and therefore are not eligible to apply.

Can units of state, local, or county government apply for HITG funds?

No, governmental entities may not apply for these grant funds.

Can a company based outside of Massachusetts apply for HITG training funds?

Yes, companies based outside of Massachusetts are eligible to apply provided they meet all of the eligibility requirements. To qualify, eligible newly hired employees “New Hire Trainees” must be Massachusetts residents.

If our company is located in Massachusetts, but we hire someone who lives outside of Massachusetts are we eligible for a grant?

No. Employees must be Massachusetts residents to be eligible.

Can temporary, contract or seasonal workers be trained with these funds?

Staffing firms that employ workers who primarily work at another work location on a contract or temporary basis are eligible to apply, assuming they meet all of the required eligibility criteria. Companies that employ workers through a staffing firm are not eligible since the employees are not on their company's payroll.  Self-employed individuals or contractors are not eligible. Additional restrictions may apply to seasonal workers.

 

LIMITS

Are there any limits to the amount a company can receive?

Eligible employers may be approved for up to $75,000 per calendar year, based on the date that New Hire Trainees start employment.   

How many times can I apply?

There is no limit to the number of applications employers may submit, but no more than $75,000 in grant funds will be approved for payment for hiring done in one calendar year.  

Is there a waiting period required between HITG grants?

There is no waiting period between HITG grants unless a company has reached the limit of $75,000 in one calendar year.  If a company has received $75,000 for eligible new hires made during one calendar year, the company must wait until the next calendar year to be eligible for more funds.


Are part-time employees eligible?

Yes, both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for funding if they are consistently employed for at least 120 days prior to payment and meet all other requirements. 

Is there a minimum or maximum that a New Hire Trainee must be paid to be eligible?

There are no maximum wage limits.  At a minimum, New Hire Trainees must earn $2500 (gross earnings) during the 120 retention period in order for the company to receive payment. 

 

PROCESS

When should we apply?

Your on-line HITG application must be submitted no later than 30 days after the start of employment for eligible new hire trainees.  You may apply before hiring eligible job candidates, but it is not required.

Are there training requirements? Does it matter what type of training is provided?

Grant funds are expected to contribute to the cost of recruiting, on-boarding, and training eligible employees.  Any training paid for using grant funds should relate to employees’ job functions.  Training may be conducted by outside vendors of your choosing or by other employees (including “on-the-job training”).  Employers are not required to document training activities or expenses.  Approval of training providers, content or curriculum is not required.

What documentation is required?

The following documents are required to determine employer eligibility:

The following documents are required to demonstrate new hire trainee eligibility:

Additionally, grant recipients are required to provide the following documentation upon request by Commonwealth Corporation:

  • Proof of Workers Compensation coverage
  • Payroll records pertaining to grant-funded new hire trainees
  • Any documentation necessary to substantiate claims of eligibility, hiring activity, employment retention, residency, or compliance with obligations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

How long will the grant approval process take?

Decisions will be made in approximately 10 business days from the application submission date, provided all information is complete. Employers will be notified of their application outcome (approval or denial) via email to the contact person listed on the application.

How can we check the status of our application?

If you have any questions about the status of your application please contact the HITG Program at  hitg@commcorp.org or 617-717-6912 and an appropriate staff person will respond to your inquiry.

What if we don’t retain the approved new hire trainee for 120 days?

If the approved new hire trainee does not retain employment for at least 120 days, payment will not be issued.  However, if you are able to hire another eligible candidate who is able to retain employment at least 120 days, grant funds may be applied to this employee.  In order to do so, the company must submit a new application within 30 days of the hire.  All other requirements and limits still apply.

What if our application is not approved?

Employers who submit applications will be informed in writing if their application is not approved.

 

BACKGROUND

How is the program funded?

The Hiring Incentive Training Grant is a part of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund.  The Workforce Training Fund is funded by the Massachusetts employer community. In 1998, legislation was enacted reducing unemployment insurance contribution rates for Massachusetts employers by $121 million in 1999. In conjunction with these lower rates legislation also established the Workforce Training Fund.  The fund collects between $18 and $22 million annually to pay for Workforce Training Fund grant programs. Since the inception of the Workforce Training Fund, over $200 million in training grants have been awarded to Massachusetts employers. 

 

Who is administering this program?

As of July 1, 2013, all Workforce Training Fund programs are administered by Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public corporation within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Commonwealth Corporation designs and executes workforce programs across the Commonwealth that addresses persistent workforce challenges, such as the skills gap, for targeted industries and populations. We are committed to ensuring that Massachusetts businesses have access to a pipeline of highly skilled workers and that youth and adults have pathways to good jobs in the knowledge economy.

 

CONTACT US

How can we learn more about this and other grants from the Workforce Training Fund Program?

For information about other training Workforce Training Fund Program grants, please visit www.mass.gov/wtfp.

 

If you have any questions about the HITG program, please contact:

HITG Program
Workforce Training Fund Program
Commonwealth Corporation
2 Oliver Street, 5th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
(617) 717-6912 voice
(617) 242-7660 fax
hitg@commcorp.org