Labor Dept. Hopes Training Fund Expansion Could Spur Job Growth
More Idaho workers would be eligible for subsidized worker training under a proposal that will go before the state’s Workforce Development Council next month.
The council will decide whether to allow employers to tap into the state’s Workforce Development Training Fund to train workers replacing existing employees. Currently, the fund can only be used if businesses are expanding or averting a layoff.
“We have $16 million in the training fund right now,” says Department of Labor Assistant Deputy Director Dwight Johnson. That’s a larger amount than the fund has held in more robust economic times. “Given that balance, we want to be more aggressive in using that fund to train Idahoans to fill vacancies with businesses,” Johnson says.
The fund reimburses employers for the actual costs of training workers. Johnson believes employers in the high tech, health care, advanced manufacturing and energy industries would be most likely to take advantage of the funding, if the proposal is approved. The expanded eligibility would remain in effect as long as Idaho’s unemployment rate remains at or above 7 percent.
The Department of Labor’s press release about the upcoming decision is available here.