3 Grants Your Construction Company Should Have.

With all the risk inherent in building a building, it’s no wonder there is a strong need for training in the construction industry. The age-old dilemma of “What if we train our employees and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay?” holds true, yet the costs can be high. There is great cost both in training and in losing employees, and even more so in not training them at all. Massachusetts provides grants to help supplement this effort and here are three:

  1. The Workforce Training Fund (General Program) – This grant is the most comprehensive but allows for the largest funds to create a top-notch program for your organization. Providing upwards of $250,000, this two-year grant is meant to be utilized to roll out new programs to your organization. To apply for this grant it’s important to understand your business goals and how you are planning to measure this training to ensure it’s achieving those goals. 
  1. The DIA’s Workplace Safety Training Grant – This grant usually rolls out in May (this year it’s June based on COVID) and companies are encouraged to apply ASAP to get the maximum in funding. The Safety grant allows for up to $25,000 in funding and must be focused on the safety of your employees and your job-site. Once again, the DIA wants to understand your training goals. In this case, it wants to understand any past injuries and/or safety issues that have occurred and how the training you are requesting will ensure these issues/injuries don’t happen again.
The OSHA standard on confined space is challenging. Are you doing it properly?
  1. The Express Workforce Training Fund – For companies with less than 100 employees, the express program grant is easier to write. The fund allows companies to access up to $30,000 per year and will reimburse organizations up to 50% of the cost of a training. The one hitch here is that you need to choose from the course directory of pre-approved courses. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, this grant isn’t for you. 

Why do programs like this exist?

Massachusetts (and many other states) want a low unemployment rate. Low unemployment = less strain on the government to support people out of work.  One of the programs the government has enacted provides grant dollars to companies for training. Productive companies need a skilled workforce, and a skilled workforce results in a productive company. Massachusetts recognizes that contemporary training and development is one of the mechanisms that enables the realization of this goal. The hope is to make employees more skillful which in turn creates a more productive company. And what do more productive companies need? More people to help with all that growth!

How do I get one?

The grant process is tough. The Commonwealth needs to clearly understand why your company deserves their investment. Companies need to show the merit in your training and development as well as how you will measure its effectiveness. Hiring a grant writing company, such as Building PPL (my company full disclosure), to write the grant based on your company’s goals while sourcing the best vendors is a great avenue to look into. We will work with you to understand what your business needs are, research vendors to fit those needs and write the grant for you. We charge a flat rate of 5% of the grant only after you are awarded the grant. You can reach out to me at krysta@buildingppl.com or by phone at 315-729-0095.

Want to go it alone?

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Here are the websites and three tips if you want to go it alone:

Workforce Training Fund

DIA Workplace Safety Grant

Express Training Fund

Tips for writing the grant:

  1. Understand the end goal you are looking to achieve. It’s important that you plan on measuring the effectiveness of the training programs so you will need to know where you currently are and where you’d like to be.
  2. Do your research. There are a LOT of vendors out there. If you are going to spend your employees’ time, make sure they are getting the best vendor and feel they got something out of it.
  3. Be reasonable in your requests. Don’t ask for $250,000 when you have 40 people in the organization and you’ve never provided training for your employees in the past. The state tends to maximize their funding at $350 an hour for a vendor and about $3,000 per employee for a program. 

If you are going it alone this Mass Construction Show episode will give you some insights from my years of working with professionals just like you. For non-apple folks listen here.

So what are you waiting for? Get working to provide your employees with growth opportunities that will benefit them and the organization. What do you have to lose?

Outside of Massachusetts but still interested in what grants are available? Reach out to me at krysta@buildingppl.com. There are programs from Rhode Island to California and everywhere in between.

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