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Florida Incentives

Training Programs

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:

  • Must be “for profit” and create new, permanent, full-time (35+ hours per week) jobs for Florida workers requiring customized entry-level skills training not available at the local level
  • Create new, full-time, permanent, high-quality jobs in qualified targeted industries
  • Require non-degree, specialized skills based training of 24 months or less which is not​ available at the local level
  • Should create high-quality jobs paying an average annual wage of at least 115 percent of local or state private sector wages, whichever is lower, unless the business is located in a distressed urban or rural community, Enterprise/Empowerment Zone, or brownfield area (ES202 Wage Requirements) {Average annual wage means the average, for a twelve month period or, if less than a twelve month period, converted to a twelve month period, of actual wages. This includes salaries, commissions, bonuses, drawing accounts (against future earnings), prizes and awards (if given by the employer for the status of employment), vacation pay, sick pay, and other payments paid to employees consistent with Florida’s Department of economic Opportunity’s definition. Benefits are not included.}
  • Must produce an exportable (beyond regional markets) good or service
  • Shall provide sufficient documentation for identification of all participants that would allow access through the automated student databases pursuant to section F.S. 288.047(5)(e), or electronic listings by social security number for calculation of performance measures, and any other outcomes as specified in section F.S. 1008.39, or deemed pertinent to CareerSource Florida
  • May not qualify for funding if relocating from one Florida community to another Floridacommunity. You may view these statutes at Florida Statutes (F.S. 288.047)(2).


Funding priority given to businesses as follows:

  • On a first-come, first serve basis
  • Businesses offering jobs located in a distressed, urban inner city, rural area, Enterprise Zone or Brownfield area
  • Whose grant proposals have the greatest potential for economic impact that contribute in-kind and/or cash matches


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.


​TRAINING SERVICES
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 training can be provided by Florida’s public or private educational institution, a private training company, a private instructor, a company employee who has the subject matter expertise, or a combination of training providers
  • The training can be at the company’s facility, at the training provider’s facility, or a combination of locations
  • The training can include occupational skills training designed to meet the special requirements of a business or industry
  • The training can be professional development (i.e., leadership training)
  • The training can be in strategies to improve efficiency of business operations
  • The training can be technical/hard skills training such as computer software training
  • The training can be delivered in-person or online


The following are examples of trainings that cannot be funded:

  • CPR and First Aid
  • Safety Training
  • New hire orientation
  • Diversity and Sexual Harassment
  • English as a Second Language
  • Degree programs
  • Workplace literacy or soft skills
  • Training that takes places as part of a conference event where food is included 


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:

  • Having 25 or fewer employees
  • Being located in a rural area of critical economic concern (RACEC), rural county, distressed area, Enterprise zone, Brownfield or Hub zone


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:

  • A paid employee of the applicant business, or a person working for the business as a staffing agency employee, working at least 37.5 hrs per week and receives a W-2;
  • At least 18 years of age;
  • A citizen of the United States or a non-citizen whose status permits employment in theUnited States;
  • A Florida resident working at a physical location in Florida; and
  • Employed on or before the signature date of the application.


Companies applying for an IWT grant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a “for-profit” company in the State of Florida
  • In operation for a minimum of one (1) year prior to the application date (as verifiedon sunbiz.org)
  • Demonstrate financial viability by providing:
    • Their most recently filed IRS Form 941 (if the business is a Corporation) or a most recently filed copy of the 1040 Income Tax Return with Schedule SE (if the business is a Sole Proprietorship).
    • A letter of Tax Clearance from the Florida Department of Revenue dated within 45 days of application submittal. (Instructions for obtaining this clearance letter are provided on the IWT Application Checklist)
    • Letter of credit from a bank the company has done business with for at least six (6) months. The letter must be on bank letterhead.
  • Compliant with the non-discrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;, and with 29 C.F.R. Part 37.
  • Have at least one full-time employee (must be Florida Resident AND W-2 employee).
    • For a sole-proprietor where the business owner is the only employee, the sole-proprietor may be considered as the full-time employee
  • Have not received an award in the previous or current program year.


The following businesses are not eligible to apply for funds under this program:

  • Not-for-profit agencies or organizations
  • Retail establishments
  • Entities whose administrations are comprised only of volunteers
  • Workforce Development Boards and their administrative entities
  • Labor unions
  • Federal, state, county, or city governmental entities
  • Businesses that received an IWT award in the current or previous program year 

Tax Advantages

​Florida has…

  • NO corporate income tax on limited partnerships
  • NO corporate income tax on subchapter S-corporations
  • NO state personal income tax guaranteed by constitutional provision
  • NO corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • NO state-level property tax assessed
  • NO property tax on business inventories
  • NO property tax on goods-in-transit for up to 180 days
  • NO sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state
  • NO sales tax on purchases of raw materials incorporated in a final product for resale, including non-reusable containers or packaging
  • NO sales/use tax on co-generation of electricity


​Florida offers Sales and Use Tax Exemptions on…

  • Machinery and equipment used by a new or expanding Florida business to manufacture, produce or process tangible personal property for sale
  • Labor, parts and materials used in repair of and incorporated into machinery and equipment
  • Electricity used in the manufacturing process
  • Certain boiler fuels (including natural gas) used in the manufacturing process
  • Semiconductor, defense and space technology-based industry transactions involving manufacturing equipment
  • Machinery and equipment used predominantly in research and development
  • Labor component of research and development expenditures
  • Commercial space activity — launch vehicles, payloads and fuel, machinery and equipment for production of items used exclusively at Spaceport Florida
  • Aircraft parts, modification, maintenance and repair, sale or lease of qualified aircraft
  • Production companies engaged in Florida in the production of motion pictures, made for television motion pictures, television series, commercial music videos or sound recordings.​