California and Arizona Offer COVID-19 Employee Training Grants

To help employers rebuild their workforces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some states are offering specialized versions of existing training grant programs.

This Alert focuses on Arizona’s Rapid Employment Job Training Grant and California’s COVID Rapid Reemployment and Retraining Pilot as part of its COVID-19 response plan. Both programs offer streamlined application processes to expedite cash reimbursements to employers hiring and training new employees.

Below is an overview of what employers need to know to qualify and apply for the programs in these two states.

Arizona: Rapid Employment Job Training Grant

The Rapid Employment Job Training Grant is available to public or private organizations, entities, and sole proprietorships who have hired, or will hire, new employees between March 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020, and provide online or in-person training.

The program is similar to the state’s existing Job Training Grant, but offers a broader array of eligible costs and a more simplified application and reimbursement process.

Potential Benefits

Program grants are payable on a cost reimbursement basis.

Grants are also subject to a $5,000 maximum per employee, and a total maximum award of $1.3 million per employer.

Eligible Industries

The program is open to employers in any industry.

Eligible Costs

The grant covers training or course development costs for the time that employees spend in dedicated online or in-person training. The following training expenses are eligible for reimbursement under the program: 

  • Instruction costs
  • Training materials
  • Travel costs, excluding food and beverages
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Venue and facility costs
  • Wages

Application Process and Deadline

The application process for the Rapid Employment Job Training Grant has been streamlined, requiring a simplified application. The program will accept applications on a rolling basis until September 1, 2020.

California Rapid Reemployment and Retraining Pilot

The COVID Rapid Reemployment and Retraining Pilot is designed to rapidly support employers and workers in the health care and food supply chain.

Potential Benefits

Grants are reimbursed for up to four hours of training costs associated with hiring new employees.

Reimbursement is capped at $2,000 per employee, and the total maximum grant award is $200,000 per company.

Eligible Industries

The program is focused on industries in the health care and food supply chain, as the Employment Training Panel (ETP) has deemed them critical to the health and welfare of Californians.

The ETP has specified industries eligible for the COVID Pilot according to the following list of NAICS codes:

  • Health Care (62)
  • Pharmacies (44611)
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (3254)
  • Measuring Device Manufacturing (3345)
  • Medical Equipment Manufacturing (3391)
  • Testing Laboratories (541380)
  • Agriculture (11)
  • Food Manufacturing (311)
  • Beverage Manufacturing (3121)
  • Soap & Toilet Paper Manufacturing (3256)
  • Food & Beverage or Grocery Stores (445)

Eligible Costs

Training can be delivered in-person or online and should focus on job-skill training. 

Applicants are also encouraged to include COVID-19-related safety training topics to increase the competitiveness of their application.

Application Process and Deadline

Applicants will follow the normal application process, but will indicate that they’re applying for the COVID Pilot.

The pilot will begin approving awards effective the July 24, 2020, panel meeting.

The program is expected to be held throughout the duration of the COVID-19 plan, which as of now is through December 31, 2020.

We’re Here to Help

To learn more about these programs, qualifying criteria, or how to apply, contact your Moss Adams professional.

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