Workforce Training Funds now available through HVCC

The 2018/19 Enacted State Budget includes continued direct state tax support for the State University of New York (SUNY) Community College Workforce Development Training Grant Program or “contract courses.” 

Based on the original legislative intent, the funding is to assist community colleges to operate economic development/job training grant programs to provide workforce development training courses to businesses and organizations to promote and encourage the location and development of new business in the state, and to create and retain employment opportunities in the state and local communities. Matching funds of at least twenty-five percent shall be required by each participating business or organization. 

The funding is administered by SUNY System Administration’s Office of Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline and Finance and Budget Office, with assistance from Counsel’s Office, Office of Governmental Relations, and Provost’s Office as needed. 

Eligible Workforce Training Project Types 

All proposals should include training that is customized to the employer’s needs and, to a limited extent, provide related curriculum development and assessment. Funding of business-specific projects will be the priority, however, proposals for non-profit and non-state governmental organizations will also be considered. 

Three types of workforce training are eligible for funding: 

  • Individual projects: Projects that focus on training for a single employer in a particular training area or areas. 
  • Consortium projects: Projects that focus on a type of training that serves multiple employers or where multiple colleges work together as a regional consortium to train for an employer(s) in a specific area. An industry association can act as the employer for this type of project if that organization provides the match. 
  • Demonstration projects*: A limited number of special demonstration projects may be considered that develop and implement new and innovative courses, programs or curriculum. For these types of projects, modest funding for other direct costs may be included such as staff assistance, release time, material development, and/or incidental operating costs and travel for project activities. Matching funds from employer(s) will still be required at 25% of the total project cost including a 10% cash match. 

Demonstration project proposals may include: 

  • Training courses or programs that provide a pathway for employees between non-credit and credit courses, certificates and degree programs. 
  • Industry or campus certifications awarded for specific training programs. 
  • Innovative training ideas (boot camps, short courses, etc.). 
  • Entrepreneurial programs that tie to START-UP NY programs or companies. 
  • Development of regional training programs in a new or emerging industry. 

Project Planning 

Please consider the college’s role in serving the economic and workforce development needs of the state’s business enterprises which could include: 

  • New employers requiring training for startup including START-UP NY companies.  
  • Employers locating to the state (or newly located to the state). 
  • Employers expanding their operations and/or creating new jobs. 
  • Employers that seek to improve productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and profitability as a result of the training. 
  • Employers where training is key to remaining in the state. 
  • Employers where training is essential to survival and job retention. 
  • Firms that are small and without assistance would not be able to afford training. 
  • Firms that show promise of increased sales, new products, or new markets as a result of the training. 
  • Collaboration with other state, workforce or community partners. 
  • Clear links to the economic development objectives of the region (i.e. link to regional economic development council projects or initiatives). 

Other Project Requirements 

  • When possible, colleges are encouraged to use faculty, adjunct faculty or qualified staff for training. However, all qualified training providers should be considered. 
  • For audit proposes, please maintain a list of employees who receive training under the grant. It is recommended that the college provide a sign-in form for each training session that includes project title, training conducted, employee name, employer, date of training and employee signature. 
  • Consulting costs are not allowable. 
  • In preparing its proposal, each college should make realistic projections of the number of employees to be served, jobs to be created or retained, etc. Inflating outcomes is discouraged and colleges will be expected to report actual outcomes at the end of the project; these numbers will be compared to the original proposal. 
  • “Canned” programs and sole-sourcing multiple contracts to single training providers is discouraged. High-cost training associated with sending employees to training institutes will not be considered. Funding may not be used to cover tuition except for special, pre-approved projects. 
  • Colleges are asked to use the “SUNY Workforce and Continuing Education” Workplace Group to post pictures and overviews of the trainings that are offered through this program. 
  • Employers that were funded in past years may be asked to wait a year before applying again. 
  • Employers that did not submit a letter with the final report last year are not eligible to participate this year.

Marketing and Outreach Expectations 

Based on SUNY’s Completion Agenda and the need for colleges to provide access to higher education for all students including adult and non-traditional students, SUNY is requesting the grant contact provide information to employers and employees on additional non-credit, certificate and/or credit and degree program offerings where applicable. This outreach could include providing admissions materials along with training materials and/or arranging for the admissions office to visit employers and employees during or prior to a training session to briefly discuss additional education options. SUNY is looking to highlight best practices in this area so a description of this outreach will be required as part of the final report. 

Funding Guidelines 

Proposals: Due to the reduced timeline for 2018/19, SUNY community colleges may submit proposals on a rolling basis until July 1, 2019 or all funds have been committed. When possible combining multiple projects into one proposal is encouraged. 

Funding Amount: The maximum a college may apply for initially is $85,000 in total for all projects. Multiple project proposals may be submitted. The maximum to be awarded per project is up to: 

  • $50,000 for individual project grants 
  • $85,000 for consortium projects 
  • $75,000 for demonstration projects. 

Employer Match: The employer must contribute at least 25% of the total project cost in matching funds and at least 10% must be in the form of cash. The remaining 15% may be comprised of in-kind commitments such as training materials (books, software, equipment, etc.) and trainee release time. This contribution must be documented in the employer final report letter for audit purposes. (Note: space costs are not allowed as in-kind costs). 

Project Costs: The total project costs are to be paid by the college and include direct program costs (costs as a result of offering the training such as personnel and benefits) and administrative/indirect costs (limited to 20% of the direct costs). Project costs do not include costs such as employee training wages or release time or books, software, equipment, etc. (unless project is a demonstration project) as these are considered part of the employer match. The employer must contribute 25% of the total project costs in the form of cash (10%) and in-kind contributions (15%). The SUNY grant may not exceed 90% of the total project cost.

For 2018/19 proposals, projects will be considered on a rolling basis until July 1, 2019 or all funds are committed.

For more information, please contact
Penny Hill
Dean, Economic Development and Workforce Initiatives
Hudson Valley Community College
345 Hermes Road, Malta NY 12020
(518) 629-7075
(518) 478-5248 -CELL