The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Apprenticeship Training Grant Program provides funding to eligible Apprenticeship Training Providers (ATP) that provide construction related apprenticeship training.

The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of the participating ATP’s in order to increase the supply of trained construction workforce. By offsetting the cost of training for apprenticeship programs, the training programs will have the ability to expand capacity and place more apprentices into the workforce at an accelerated rate.

The Apprenticeship Training Providers may apply for up to $3,000 for net new enrolled apprentice within the next 12 months. Funding for this program is part of the $10 million allocated by the Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission to The Montana Department of Commerce (Department) as part of the Workforce Training Grant Program.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Eligible applicants are ATP’s that provide construction related apprenticeship training through a registered apprenticeship program. A list of eligible applicants can be found HERE.

Applications are only accepted on https://www.submittable.com/ (need actual link)

Only apprentices enrolled after the application is approved and above the current training capacity will be eligible.

GRANT AWARD CEILING AND THRESHOLDS

The maximum grant award is $3,000 for each net new capacity of apprentices’ (enrollment) that the ATP is proposing to create up to 70 for a maximum award of $210,000. The apprenticeship program must demonstrate increased enrollment capacity and the ability to manage the increased capacity.

Grant contracts will not exceed 12 months from the date of approval by the Governor’s office.

An ATP may only have one open ARPA Apprenticeship Training Grant.

ELIGIBLE COSTS

Grant funds will be paid upfront, on a quarterly basis, to enable hiring of instructors, purchase of materials and other essential necessities to operate the training program.

An employer may not receive reimbursement for an employee enrolled in the apprenticeship program if the apprenticeship program has already applied for reimbursement of that same employee.

An employer may not receive reimbursement for an employee enrolled in the program if the employer has already applied for reimbursement of that same employee via another program.

If the ATP is unable to create the net new enrollment of apprentice, the provider must return the funds for the capacity that was not created.

GRANT APPLICATION SUBMITTAL PROCESS

The Department is the primary point of contact for initiating a grant application and working through the process leading to a grant award.

The ATP would submit the application to the Department with the following minimum information:

· Application form

· Proof of an approved registered apprenticeship Program.

· A statement of current staffing/capacity and how the grant will be used to increase headcount or training capacity.

· A statement of current headcount or capacity and how the grant will increase capacity to deliver increased activity to construction industry within the State of Montana.

The Department of may request additional information as needed and applicants are encouraged to include any additional information supporting the proposed project.

The Department will make recommendations to the Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission based on determination of eligibility and the proposal scoring and ranking process described below. The Commission will make a recommendation to the Governor’s office for the final decision on awards.

PROJECT SCORING, AND RANKING CRITERIA

A maximum of 50 points are available during the scoring process. An eligible ATP will be scored based on the information contained in the application. All applications will be placed in order of highest score to lowest score when presented to the commission.

  • 0 – 5 New Apprentices 10 points
  • 6 – 10 New Apprentices 20 points
  • 11 – 15 New Apprentices 30 points
  • 16 – 25 New Apprentices 40 points
  • 26 or More New Apprentices 50 points

DEFINITIONS:

Apprentice: Apprentice needs to be a Montana resident and employed by a Montana construction trade business.

Apprenticeship Training Providers (ATP): The provider must provide a construction related apprenticeship training program and approved by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship Program.

Click HERE for the list of current ATP's that have been approved by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

If your agency is not on the list, you can contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to become an eligible provider.

Match: ATP are required to provide $1 for $1 match. Match would typically be costs associated with the expanded capacity. Expenses that are being reimbursed by another state agency is not considered match.

Net New Capacity: Net new capacity is the different between current maximum enrollment capacity and new enrollment capacity resulting from this funding.

Performance Metrics: Providing funding directly to the construction related apprenticeship training programs would lead to an increase in capacity and overall enrollment. By placing additional employees/apprentices into the workforce, it should help provide a pipeline for skilled workers in high demand construction trade industries. Jobs created and skills training would also be mapped.

Registered Apprenticeship Program: The program needs to be approved by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION SUBMITTAL

Completed applications must be submitted at least 5 weeks prior to the next scheduled Economic Transformation, Stabilization and Workforce Development Advisory Commission. Dates of meetings and deadlines will be posted HERE. Completed applications will be scored based on eligibility and ranked for presentation to the Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce development Commission and approval of the Governor. If there are funds remaining after the first round of applications, additional rounds of applications will be accepted with deadlines to be set at a later date.

MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS

Grantees will be required to provide quarterly reports of the trainee, type of training provided and number of hours.

For standard trades training, course completion and evidence of hire will need to be provided for funds reimbursement

REQUEST FOR FUNDS

25% of the funds will be disbursed once the ARPA contract is fully executed. On a quarterly basis, the ATP can request an additional 25% with their required quarterly report. With each draw request, the ATP must provide documentation that match is being met.

NOTE: If the Grantee has outstanding debt with the State of Montana, disbursements through the training program could potentially be impacted.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Workforce Training Grant Program provides grant funds to reimburse businesses for training of new and existing full-time workers. The business must be able to demonstrate an increase in revenue, capacity and/or production/manufacturing as result of the training process. The Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission allocated $10 million for the program. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS
Eligible business would apply directly to the program. Applications are only accepted on https://www.covidreliefmt.org/submit
Businesses are excluded from receiving funds if they are on the federal or state debarment lists or engaging in a business activity that is federally excluded like cannabis.
GRANT AWARD CEILING AND THRESHOLDS
The Department ultimately determines the size of the grant. Training costs must be supported by a budget.
Grant contracts will not exceed 12 months from the date of approval by the Governor’s office.
The maximum grant award is $3,000 for each new and/or existing job up to 70 total jobs (70 employees x $3,000 = $210,000). Any bonuses earned will be allowed to exceed the maximum of $210,000.
Once an award is made, the business can allocate the funds as needed for the individual jobs; however, training of a specific job cannot exceed 25% of the total allocation. For award less than $15,000, the maximum training grant would be $3,000 per job. For example: some jobs may need only $2,000 of training while other jobs may need $7,000 as long as the total investment did not exceed 25% threshold.
Businesses may only have one open ARPA Workforce Training Grant. If the business successfully completes a prior award, the businesses may reapply if the prior grant is officially closed out by the Department and the proposed training would be for either different jobs and/or different type of training. The Department reserves the right to recommend a reduced award and/or limit the type of training on subsequent awards.
ELIGIBLE COSTS
The grant award may only be used for direct costs associated with education or skills-based training for new or existing jobs. All necessary and incidental costs of providing workforce training and education directed to the new jobs are eligible for a grant. This includes all direct training costs, such as:

  • in-house or on-the-job training which would be based on the instructor’s wage at the time of training.
  • subcontracted services with eligible training providers
  • miscellaneous direct training costs (such as employee training-related travel), and
  • training assessment and testing.

Eligible costs that are not tied directly to specific employees must be pro-rated amongst all the participants who receive the training regardless if they are eligible for receiving training reimbursement. The pro-rated costs are then allocated to each eligible employee receiving training for which reimbursement is requested. The pro-rated costs will then count towards the maximum training cost per eligible net new job.
The following are not eligible for grant monies:
· the purchases of equipment to be owned or utilized by the training provider.
· training that was paid by another federal or state agency; and
· salary or wages paid to employees during training are eligible for match, but do not count towards an eligible cost of training.
GRANT APPLICATION SUBMITTAL PROCESS
The Montana Department of Commerce is the primary point of contact for initiating a grant application and working through the process leading to a grant award.
The business would submit the application to the Department of Commerce with the following minimum information:

  • Application form.
  • Copy of the business’ most current profit & loss statement and statement of current production, if applicable. This statement will establish the base to determine if the performance metrics are being met.
  • Business Plan containing information that is sufficient for the Department to obtain an adequate understanding of the business to be assisted, including the products or services offered, estimated market potential, management experience of principals, current financial position, and details of the proposed venture.
  • 12-month training plan for both new and existing jobs which describes the training curriculum and resources.
  • Hiring Plan, if proposing to train new jobs.
  • Most current Montana Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Form (UI-5).
  • Procedures for outreach, recruitment, screening, selection, training and placement of workers.
  • A detailed budget justifying the funding level request.

The Montana Department of Commerce may request additional information as needed and applicants are encouraged to include any additional information supporting the proposed business expansion project.
The Montana Department of Commerce will make recommendations to the Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission. The Commission will make a recommendation to the Governor’s office for the final decision on awards.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION SUBMITTAL
Applications are accepted on an open cycle. Applications are funded on a first come-first served basis.  Application must be received 10 days prior to the Montana Economic Transformation, Stabilization & Workforce Development Advisory Commission meetings to be considered for funding during that month.
Commission Meetings: https://montana.servicenowservices.com/arpa?id=community_forum&sys_id=269e787f1ba470500b73a8efe54bcbc6
DEFINITIONS:
Disabled Veteran: An honorably discharged member of the armed forces with a disability rating of 30% or higher. Acceptable form of verification is a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating the disability rating (commonly known as a veteran’s civil service preference letter).
Employee: To be considered an employee of the business, the individual must be listed on the business’ Montana Department of Labor’s Unemployment Report (UI-5), Business Owners, who are not listed on the UI-5 form, are not considered an employee and would not be eligible for training reimbursement.
Eligible Business: Eligible applicants are Montana based business who are in good standing with the Montana Secretary of State or Tribal Government. Eligible business must be a for-profit, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, corporation or non-profit.
Eligible Training Providers: An eligible trainer must be a National or Montana accredited trainer. If they are a Montana training provider, the provider must be registered with and in good standing with the Secretary of State.
Full-Time Job: Employee must be located in Montana and is in a predominantly year- round position that requires an average of 35 hours of work per week.
In-house or on-the-job training: Training that is being conducted by existing employees. Eligible training would need to provide upscale, retrain or new skills. General training such as on-boarding would not be eligible.
Incentive: Business will be awarded a $500 incentive for each new position that meets the criteria below and provides training:

  • A qualified disabled person; and/or
  • Disabled veteran; and/or
  • Native American (must provide tribal identification); and/or
  • Post-correctional facility release/pre-release center participant; and/or
  • Creates a new job that pays at least $51,000/year or $24.52/hour,

The incentive would be on top of the training being conducted for an eligible activity and paid out at the end of the contract period. The business must be able to prove that the new hire qualified under the above criteria and received training.
Match: Businesses are required to provide $1 for $1 match. The wages of the trainee during the training can be used for match. If the employee’s wages are being reimbursed by another state agency, they are NOT considered match.
Performance Metrics: The proposed training should lead to an increase in capacity,  production and/or revenue to the business. The business will need to provide documentation that the metrics are being met.
Qualified Disabled Person: A person who has a disability certification from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
Post Correctional Facility Release: Includes individuals released from the Montana Department of Corrections, city or county correctional facility, residents of a pre-release center, parolees or probationers or persons enrolled in a Department of Corrections work release program. Acceptable forms of verification include parole certificate, discharge certificate, or letter of verification from a case manager, Department of Corrections or parole officer.
Wage Requirement: Pay trainees at least the average weekly wage that meets or exceeds the lesser of 170% of Montana’s current minimum wage.
MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS
The business may receive grant funds periodically over the contract period upon documenting the incurring of training expenses and the meeting the required wage rate.
The business will be required to obtain and maintain general liability insurance with minimum combined single limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate per year. The Department are to be covered as additional insured on the policy.
The business will submit quarterly status reports on project performance including a status report of the project and the most current Profit & Loss statement.
The business agrees to provide access to all payroll and employment records for in-state operations including authorization to review unemployment insurance and training records.
REQUEST FOR FUNDS
Funds may be requested by sending a letter on the Company’s official letterhead signed by two individuals, one of which must be the contact listed in the contract or the individual who signed the contract, with the following information included or attached:

  • Names and current jobs of employees being trained including whether the jobs are full-time jobs.
  • Current hourly wage rate of trainees and any changes to wage rate through the project.
  • Summary of the training program and overall goal (certifications, skills, new jobs filled by trainees, etc.) for each trainee.
  • Summary of training accomplished for the period in which funds are being requested.
  • Total cost and breakdown of costs and supporting documentation for each new job for which funds are being requested.
  • Amount requested for each trainee.
  • Amount of matching funds expended to date.
  • Total amount requested and total remaining under the contract.
  • Signed training logs that have been acknowledged by both trainers and trainees for all on-the-job and in-house training.
  • Copies of any training certificates that may have been issued as a result of the WTG training.
  • Any other pertinent information related to the grant and progress on the training plan.
  • Documentation necessary to show an increase in revenue, production or capacity as a result of the training/hiring.
  • Information of employees is needed for audit purposes, such information is otherwise expected to be kept confidential in the interests of those individuals’ privacy interests.

NOTE: If the Grantee has outstanding debt with the State of Montana, disbursements through the training program could potentially be impacted.

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State of Montana