Applying for a Training Grant

by Tom McBride, Partners for Creative Solutions, Inc.

  You may think that applying for any grant may be a waste of time, but this has not been our experience when helping employers obtain training grants in most New England states.  While our experience is with training programs like lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and continuous improvement, we have observed similar results for other topics.

This article provides an overview of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund where a well-written application with a solid training plan has an excellent chance of approval.  For complete details see the official web page at

Financed entirely by Massachusetts employers, the fundís mission is to provide applicants with resources to improve employee skills and to maintain the economic strength and viability of the Commonwealth's businesses. To be eligible, organizations must pay into the Workforce Training Fund, and trainees must be employed in Massachusetts

Training must be job specific, but there are few restrictions on how or when the training occurs.  In fact, combinations of classroom and hands-on training that result in workplace improvements (kaizens) have routinely been funded.  However, training designed exclusively to meet a legal mandate, such as OSHA training, is excluded. 

Here are highlights of the three types of Massachusetts training grant programs.

Express Program

Companies with 50 or fewer employees or labor organizations
Maximums:  $15,000 for total grant; $3000 per course per trainee
Apply anytime
Limited to pre-qualified (off-the-shelf) courses/training providers
Grant recipients must pay at least 50% of training cost
Training must be completed within 12 months

General Program

Employers, employer or labor organizations, and training providers of any size
Maximum grant is $250,000 (some exceptions)
Apply anytime for grants under $50,000
Application deadlines are published for larger grant amounts
Organizations select training provider(s) of their choice
Grants must be matched at least 50% by applicant, in cash or in kind
Training must be completed within 24 months

Hiring Incentive Training Grants provide up to $2,000 per employee and $30,000 a year per company to assist with new hire training costs. Trainees must be Massachusetts residents who have been unemployed over a year or have no call back date from their last employer. 

  If you would like information on how to apply for a training grant in any state, contact the author at (508) 845-1546 or