Although Arizonaâ€™s unemployment rate has declined since its high in April 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers still have time to take advantage of some of the financial programs the state put into place to deal with economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. One program, the Rapid Employment Job Training Grant, provides support by reimbursing training and related costs for businesses that quickly hire new employees following reopening.
The state offers similar, non-crisis job-training grants, but they are not retroactive and require some matching funds. While the Rapid Employment Job Training Grantâ€™s eligibility window is limited, the reimbursement request and approval process is deliberately simplified and training wages may be covered. The total cap per applicant for both programs is $1.3 million per statute and $5,000 per new employee.
â€œIf youâ€™re an Arizona employer and hiring new employees, donâ€™t miss out on this program and other economic incentives that may be ending soon,â€ said James Ortiz, REDW Principal. â€œYour trusted advisor can guide you through the process, help evaluate all the programs you may be eligible for and review your grant applications for allowable costs.â€
Eligible and Ineligible Costs
The grant covers approved training or course development costs for the time employees spend in dedicated training environments. Eligible expenses fall into the following categories:
- Instruction costs and training materials
- Wages during the training period
- Travel and facility costs
- Equipment and machinery
Uncovered costs include:
- Recruitment costs, signing bonuses, and benefits
- Costs for food and beverages during training sessions
- Training needs assessment
- Pre-employment expenses, such as drug testing and employee relocation
To apply, an employer can be a public or private company, sole proprietorship, or a for-profit or nonprofit organization that has hired new employees between March 1 and September 1, 2020 and provided online or in-person training. Churches, schools, and public service corporations are not eligible. The program defines â€œnewâ€ employees as workers hired to fill new positions from March 1, 2020 to the date of the reimbursement request.
The application process requires employers to provide a brief explanation of the planned training, identify a training provider, if applicable, and calculate a training budget. The Arizona Commerce Department will accept one or multiple applications until September 1, 2020 and notify employers by mail if they receive a grant. Click here to access the application portal.
If you would like to discuss your eligibility, the application process and other related matters to take advantage of this program, please contact James Ortiz, or Tom Herrick.
REDW is committed to keeping you informed at all times, but especially during a crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic.Â Stay connected with us onÂ LinkedInÂ andÂ @REDWLLC. Or check out some of our other updatesÂ here.