WIOA Grants for Employers Can Fund Your Training Programs


Do you offer on-the-job training? An apprenticeship program? Get a WIOA grant to pay for it.

In 2018, average training expenditures amounted to nearly $1,000 per employee. Despite the importance of training and continuous learning, these costs can be significant to businesses of all sizes.

But did you know you can get government funding for your workforce training programs?

Every year, the federal government dedicates billions of dollars to initiatives that support and upskill American workers under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA programs enable for-profit organizations to receive funding for training through formula grants distributed by their state.

Unlike typical grant processes, WIOA programs are fairly straightforward. Formula grants are non-competitive and the eligibility requirements are not very restrictive. Plus, WIOA grants cover multiple kinds of training programs to address your business needs. The three main types of training programs covered by WIOA grants are incumbent worker training, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship programs.

Incumbent Worker Training

Incumbent worker training programs give businesses the opportunity to stay competitive by upskilling their existing employees with work-based training. Employers can use incumbent worker training grants to train workers on new skills that will increase productivity, open up new market opportunities, and lay the groundwork for retention and advancement within the company. Incumbent worker training grants cover a wide range of training expenses, which can include:

  • Training courses and materials
  • Software and online learning platforms
  • Tuition and registration fees
  • Curriculum development
  • Certification and testing
  • Training evaluation costs
  • In-house trainer fees (limited)

Incumbent worker training grants do not typically provide for:

  • Employee wages/productivity costs during training
  • Travel expenses to/from training
  • Training equipment
  • Any costs outside the training time period

*Allowable Costs vary by state

On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training programs refer to training and continuous learning opportunities that employers provide to new employees. This form of training can be impactful for entry-level hires, individuals who need hands-on experience, and workers with alternative job experience looking to step into a new career. The WIOA allows employers to be reimbursed for up to 50% (sometimes even 75%) of the trainee’s wages to help cover costs during on-the-job training.

Apprenticeship Programs

Registered apprenticeships are valuable work-based learning opportunities for both businesses and workers. In a registered apprenticeship, businesses, intermediaries, educational institutions, and state systems work together to build a skilled workforce for the future. Since on-the-job training is an integral part of registered apprenticeships (alongside classroom instruction), WIOA funds can be applied to the development of these programs.

So, how do you procure WIOA grants for your team training? It’s easier than you think. We put together a free e-guide so you can learn how the process works, prepare to apply, and get started by finding the WIOA agency in your state.

Find funding for your team training

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Claire Juozitis
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SolidProfessor commercial content writer and unironic classic rock record collector