Workforce Training Fund

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The Workforce Training Fund Program helps address business productivity and competitiveness by providing resources to Massachusetts businesses to fund training for current and newly hired employees. In order for the Massachusetts economy to prosper, our businesses need access to a pipeline of skilled workers so they can stay competitive and continue to grow.

The Workforce Training Fund is for businesses of all sizes, but its major focus is small to medium-sized businesses. We are here to help you make an investment in your employees’ skills and your future. We offer two types of grants to support the training needs of businesses across the state.

Express Program

The Express Program provides employers fast, simple access to grant-funded training, helping businesses in Massachusetts respond to emerging needs. It is designed to help businesses respond quickly to change and keep employees engaged. With bite-size grants for just-in-time training and no waiting periods between grants, Express is our fastest path to funding, enhanced with an even more flexible directory of training options and 6 quick steps to success.

General Program

Businesses can apply for a grant up to $200,000. Employers, employer organizations, labor organizations, training providers, and consortia of such entities are encouraged to apply for funds to train current and newly hired workers. You may use a training provider of your choice. While we fund the majority of training content, courses that a company is legally mandated to provide (such as OSHA training) are not eligible for funding under this program. Training programs must be completed within two years.

  • Contact our organizational training and development team at UMass Donahue Institute to learn how we can help you identify your most pressing training needs, and apply for one of these valuable grants!

Safety Grant Program

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The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) Workplace Safety Grant helps employers reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers and promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace through training, education, and other preventative measures. It provides up to $25,000 for an employer to cover the cost of safety training. The grant can cover any training that improves employee safety, including CPR, OSHA, OSHA 30, forklift operation, chemical awareness, falls/scaffolding, etc.

Through the DIA Workplace Safety Grant, Massachusetts-based and operating employers can keep their workplace free of known health and safety hazards.

Employers will find that implementing safety and health programs help:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance their social responsibility goal

For more information on the Safety Grant Program, visit Workplace Safety Grant Program

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

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This federal tax credit ranges from $2,400 to $9,600 and may be claimed by employers who hire and retain veterans and individuals from other targeted groups with barriers to employment. The amount of the tax credit depends on the target group of the individual hired, the number of hours worked and the wages paid in the first year of employment. There is no limit on the number of credits an employer may claim.

In addition to veterans, the target groups include recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SNAP (food stamps), ex-felons and Summer youth workers.

Trade Adjustment Assistance

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This cost-sharing federal program provides financial assistance to manufacturers affected by import competition. The program pays for half the cost of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a manufacturer’s competitiveness. These projects can include marketing and positioning strategies, e-commerce, lean manufacturing implementation, and ISO compliance and registration initiatives.


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This program offers an alternative to layoffs for businesses experiencing temporary slowdowns. WorkShare allows workers in an entire company, a single department, or even a small unit within the company to share reduced work hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

WorkShare avoids the insecurity and organizational disruption that are characteristic of a layoff. It allows a business to maintain the continuity of its skilled and trained workforce, preserve productivity, remain poised for growth and avoid the time and expense of training new employees when business improves.

Rapid Response Services

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Rapid Response helps businesses statewide that are in transition mode, whether they are expanding or downsizing. For businesses affected by layoffs and closings, Rapid Response can provide early intervention re-employment services at no cost to companies and their employees, including pre-layoff services to help workers shorten their transition to new employment.