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By John Milburn

Local companies, including manufacturers and service-based firms, seeking to have the skilled workers they need to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace can take advantage of California’s Employment Training Panel (ETP) funding program to help offset the cost of training their workforce. Why not leverage one of your company’s valuable assets through increasing employee skills with potential cost reimbursement?

In October 2016, ETP approved more than $13.4 million in job training funds to train nearly 12,000 workers in a variety of industries and jobs. Both single and multiple employer contracts from a variety of industry sectors were presented for panel approval. Fiscal year contracts were awarded in manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, wholesale trade, goods movement, warehousing, construction, green technology and other industry sectors. The award amounts ranged from $9,000 to more than $949,000.  Businesses determine their own training needs and how to provide training. Employers match training funds awarded by ETP, making these training projects real public-private partnerships.

ETP provides funding to help employers upgrade workers’ skills through training that leads to increased pay and long-term jobs. ETP was created in 1982 by the California State Legislature, and is funded by California employers through the Employment Training Tax. In the last three decades, ETP has provided well over $1 billion to offset the costs of training more than 800,000 workers at more than 80,000 California employers. ETP is a funding agency, not a training agency.

Single employers can contract directly with ETP, as can groups of employers such as chambers of commerce, trade associations, and economic development corporations. ETP contracts directly with training agencies from educational institutions including community colleges, universities, and adult schools.

ETP Funding Priorities

ETP prioritizes funding for small business training and industries identified as most vital to California’s economic growth and recovery.

  • Small business training is essential for small employers who may not be able to train their workers without ETP assistance.
    • About 75% of businesses served by ETP employ fewer than 250 workers.
    • Close to 33% of businesses served by ETP employ fewer than 20 workers.
  • The following industries are priorities for Fiscal Year 2016/2017:
    • Manufacturing
    • Biotechnology and Life Sciences
    • Goods Movement and Transportation Logistics
    • Multimedia/Entertainment
    • Allied Healthcare
    • Green/Clean Technology
    • Construction
    • Technical Services
    • Information Technology Services
    • Agriculture

Businesses in Santa Clarita have already take advantage of ETP funding, so why not you?

Eligibility Requirements

There are eligibility requirements for training providers, employers, and employees which must be met prior to ETP reimbursement. Some to keep in mind are listed below:

  • The program is performance-based.
  • Employers must provide proof that training hours have been completed.
  • Employers must provide proof that employees have been retrained.
  • Employees must be in well-paying jobs for a specific period of time at a specified wage.

Consider ETP as a resource to utilize before June 30, 2017 for the current fiscal year. Your company can benefit from these tax dollars flowing back to help offset the training cost for employees. In today’s competitive environment training is becoming more important to businesses and organizations, especially in advanced technology areas, technical skills, and management skills. These training topics and more are eligible for ETP reimbursement. More information is available at etp.ca.gov.

John Milburn is Director of the Employee Training Institute at College of the Canyons. Mr. Milburn’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information about how the college’s Employee Training Institute can help your business, please call (661) 362-3245, e-mail john.milburn@canyons.edu or visit www.canyonsecondev.org.

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