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Florida has two training solutions, Quick Response Training (QRT) and Incumbent Worker Training. Recently, funding has more than doubled for both of these programs.
Quick Response Training
The Quick Response Training Program (QRT) is designed to increase the competitiveness of Florida businesses in the global economy. In existence since 1993, the program lauded by economic developers and national business groups, continues to play a vital role in the state’s overall economic development efforts. The QRT program provides grant funding for customized, skills based training and design, through partial reimbursement, to new or expanding businesses in Florida’s targeted industries (qualified targeted industries). These industries are typically high skill industries, have an exportable good or service and have wages of 115% above state or local wages.
The program is a state-funded grant program that provides funding to qualifying businesses to train their net new, full-time employees. Funding is provided in the form of a performance based reimbursable grant, 24-month maximum term. A business pays for pre-approved, direct training- related costs, and is reimbursed by the State of Florida upon submission of required documentation.
All applications for new and expanding businesses creating new high-quality jobs will be given equal consideration and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Businesses applying for the training must meet the following:
Funding priority given to businesses as follows:
Reimbursable Training Expenses
CareerSource Florida staff will work with each company individually during the application process to assist ensuring the courses meet training related needs. Typically, QRT funds covers portion of instructors’/trainers’ salaries, curriculum development, textbooks/manuals, customized, skills based on-line training, domestic travel for trainers, and other costs. Reimbursement is calculated based on the number of new hires that have received training and the approved amount per trainee. Hourly wages are not reimbursable.
One of the unique features of the QRT Program is that it provides flexibility regarding the type(s) of training and training provider(s). Based upon the needs of the company and their overall workforce development need, the company may choose who provides training as well as the type of training provided, as long as it meets the requirements of being customized and skills-based. More specifically,
The following are examples of trainings that cannot be funded:
Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT)
When workers lack needed training and businesses experience skill gaps, the company’s ability to compete, expand, and retain workers can be compromised. Florida’s Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Program, funded by the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and administered by CareerSource Florida (CSF) addresses such needs. The IWT Program was created for the purpose of providing grant funding for continuing education and training of incumbent employees at existing Florida businesses. The program will provide reimbursement grants to businesses that pay for preapproved, direct, training-related costs. Currently, companies may receive a reimbursement rate up to 50% or 75%.
For the year beginning July 1, 2014, the maximum amount is $50,000 per grant/per company. If a company has more than one location in the state of Florida, they are treated as either one company or separate companies depending upon the FEIN number(s). If the locations operate under different FEIN numbers, they will be considered separate companies that will need to submit separate applications and receive separate awards. If the locations operate under one FEIN number, then they will be considered one company and will therefore need to join their training efforts, submit one application and receive one award.
Most companies who apply for funding will be eligible to have up to 50% of their direct training costs eligible for reimbursement through their approved IWT grant. For companies that meet specific criteria, the reimbursement percentage is increased to 75%. This specific criteria includes:
In addition, priority is given to businesses in a qualified targeted industry; businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant upgrade in employee skills, and businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy. While this priority does not include an increased reimbursement percentage, applications that meet one of these conditions will receive priority during times of limited funding.
For the purposes of the IWT program, an Incumbent Worker is defined as follows:
Companies applying for an IWT grant must meet the following criteria:
The following businesses are not eligible to apply for funds under this program: