CHEYENNE – At the end of the day, our businesses are only as strong as the people who make them up. All great companies are made up of great people. Human capital is an important resource for all companies, and businesses must invest and train those employees in order to keep pace with their industry, competition, and the world. The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) recognizes the importance of employee training programs and helps provide training opportunities to Wyoming businesses and employees.
With the goal of supporting Wyoming businesses and organizations in building a stronger workforce, the DWS encourages businesses to learn more about the Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF) and Apprenticeship State Expansion (ASE) grant programs. The WDTF has been around for 13 years, and the ASE was recently created.
“The Workforce Development Training Fund grants and the Apprenticeship State Expansion grants provide excellent opportunities for businesses to grow and for employees to increase their value to their employers,” said DWS Business Training and Support Supervisor Sheila Ricley.
The WDTF is a unique Wyoming-based program connecting employers with professional development opportunities to increase employee skills. The grants specifically created to support Wyoming businesses include:
- Business Training Grants – Teach new skills or re-train current employees; Upgrade the skills of your current employees
- Pre-Hire Grants – Train potential employees before job placement
- Internship Grants – Structured learning experiences to enhance knowledge and skills
The Internship Grant is currently being augmented with CARES Act funding for certain programs that are directly addressing impacts of COVID-19, and for a limited time, additional funding is available. Businesses exploring internship options that address public health issues or economic relief should contact the WDTF immediately.
- Apprenticeship Grants – Development of an industry-specific workforce for businesses or industries where there is a shortage of skilled workers
The ASE program is dedicated to showing the benefits of apprentice training by providing funding that helps offset apprenticeship costs.
Many businesses and training providers have taken advantage of WDTF and ASE grants, and those entities have seen the positive difference the grants can make for Wyoming workers.
“Laramie County Community College recognizes Apprenticeships as a powerful recruiting and staffing program for trades,” said Penny Fletcher, technical program manager for Outreach & Workforce Development at LCCC. “We currently partner with multiple HVAC and Plumbing businesses to provide the related technical instruction (RTI) and have used apprenticeship funds to provide tuition and materials assistance to community members interested in the trades. This has allowed both the college and the program partners to expand their talent pool. We are very proud of our contributions to the workforce in our area and are appreciative of DWS for the grant opportunities.”
To learn more about these programs and grants, visit trainwyo.org or call (307) 777-8717.