Workforce Training Money Available — Online Applications Available September 26, 2016

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

Workforce Training Money Available

Online Applications Will be Available Beginning September 26, 2016

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program has made two substantial changes to the program in FY’17 that may affect eligibility.

• Companies that received assistance in FY’15 (based upon FEIN) who utilized 33% or less of their award amount will not be eligible for assistance in FY’17

• An Applicant, including its Affiliated Entities, may only submit one application. The Applicant and Affiliated Entities will be responsible for selecting the entity that will apply and manage the project.

Other changes include:

• FY’17 (Round 5) awards will reimburse training that begins and is completed between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.

• Each eligible applicant will be eligible for up to $75,000 in assistance.

• The following types of training will no longer be eligible training categories: ICD-10, HR certification, seminars/workshops/webinars, and Microsoft Office courses (this includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, Access, and Publisher).

• Eligible training for Corporate Headquarter will be for the corporate headquarters staff only (employees that support the operation by providing information technology, human resource, or accounting services).

• Only one user at a time may be logged in with a username/password. Should a second user log into the application with the same username/password, the first user will automatically be logged out.

Businesses can begin the online process on September 26, 2016 and will have three weeks to gather the necessary information to complete their application. The online applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and can be submitted beginning at 10:00 a.m. on October 14, 2016.

For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_wtvp.htm.

For additional assistance, contact Shannon Vanderpool at (614) 644-8560 or Shannon.Vanderpool@development.ohio.gov or Jennifer Spohr at (614) 466-4184 or Jennifer.Spohr@development.ohio.gov.

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Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program
Guidelines FY’17

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program (“Voucher Program”) is an employer-driven program designed to provide direct financial assistance to train workers and improve the economic competitiveness of Ohio’s employers. The Voucher Program is designed to offset a portion, via reimbursement, of the employer’s costs to improve the skills of its incumbent workforce. The Voucher Program will provide reimbursement to eligible employers for specific training costs accrued during the course of training. Eligible employers must demonstrate that by receiving funding assistance through the Voucher Program their business will not only obtain a skilled workforce, but will also improve their company processes and competitiveness.

Program Eligibility:
To be eligible for financial assistance, the following requirements must be met by both the employer and employee.

EMPLOYER ELIGIBILITY – an eligible employer must operate as a for-profit entity in a state-designated targeted industry, with a facility located in Ohio that has been in continuous operation for the 12 months immediately prior to the application submittal. The company’s NAICS code (www.naics.com) will determine eligibility as to the targeted industry. A listing of eligible NAICS codes can be found on our website.

Targeted industries are:
 Advanced Manufacturing
 Aerospace and Aviation
 Automotive (Automotive Technicians)
 Automotive (Manufacturing)
 BioHealth
 Corporate Headquarters
 Energy
 Financial Services
 Food Processing
 Information Technology and Services
 Logistics
 Polymers and Chemicals
 Research and Development

Each Applicant will be eligible for up to $4,000 in reimbursement per each eligible employee per Fiscal Year and up to $75,000 in total assistance per Fiscal Year. The Voucher Agreement and any Supplements to the Voucher Agreement issued to an employer during the Fiscal Year, aggregated throughout all of its state of Ohio locations, will be included in this calculation. Please note that only one application per Applicant will be accepted per program year. If an employer has multiple sites or Affiliated Entities, those sites and Affiliated Entities must work together to submit one application. An application may include multiple employees and multiple training courses.

Companies that received Voucher Program assistance in FY’15 (based upon FEIN) who utilized 33% or less of their award amount will not be eligible for assistance in FY’17. The same standard will be applied to future Voucher Program funding years (i.e. if funds are not utilized in FY16, that company will not be eligible for Voucher Program assistance in FY18, and so on and so forth).
An Applicant, including its Affiliated Entities may only submit one application. The Applicant and Affiliated Entities will be responsible for selecting the entity that will apply and manage the project. The application should not include training for any entity that is not eligible for FY’17 funding.

Eligible training for Corporate Headquarter will be for the corporate headquarters staff only (employees that support the operation by providing information technology, human resource, or accounting services).

EMPLOYEE ELIGIBILITY – an eligible employee is someone who is directly employed by the Applicant at a facility located within Ohio and meets all of the following requirements:

* Employed in any of the following business functions: production, back office operations, information technology, logistics, research and development or as an automotive technician;
* Earning an hourly wage of at least 150 percent of the federal minimum wage ($10.88 as of January 1, 2012) plus benefits;
* An Ohio resident;
* At least 18 years of age; and
* Working at least 25 hours per week.

Note: an employee who is employed in a retail/service function is not eligible for the Voucher Program.

Eligible Training

Training opportunities that expand and improve an employee’s workforce skills and develop his or her opportunities for growth or promotion within the company are eligible for the Voucher Program. The training provider is to be selected independently by the employer and/or employee (with employer approval) and may be a public, private or in-house trainer.

While the effective date of the agreement will be January 1, 2017, any costs incurred or monies expended by the Applicant on the Project prior to final approval and the execution of the written Agreement, is done at the Applicant’s own risk. Applicant’s decision to go forward does not obligate the state of Ohio to provide state assistance that has not received all required approvals, or has not been memorialized in a written agreement between the applicant and the state of Ohio.

Training must be completed by December 31, 2017.

Trainings may be conducted at the employer’s facility, at the training provider’s facility, online or at a third-party site. Eligible training will be technical in nature, will relate to the employee’s current position or future advancement within the company, and must be required by the company. Training activities may include:

 * Training for improved process efficiency (e.g. ISO-9000, Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing);
 * Training from a national, regional or state trade association that offers an independently certified training curriculum and testing;
 * Training that leads to an industry recognized certificate/credential;
 * Training provided in conjunction with the purchase of a new piece of equipment; and
 * Training to maintain an industry recognized credential;

Ineligible training activities include (but are not limited to):
* Conference fees;
* Curriculum Development and/or Prep Time;
* General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
* HR Certification
* ICD-10
*
Laws, Regulations, and Taxes – Training related to compliance regulations, federal/state taxation laws, international laws, US labor laws, etc;
* On-Line Resource Libraries or any other resource in which an individual can choose from a number of courses over a period of time;
* Membership Fees;
* Microsoft Office courses (this includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, Access, and Publisher);
* Safety Training – Mandated or regulatory safety training is not eligible. Mandated or regulatory safety training includes but is not limited to blood borne pathogens, control of hazardous materials, lockout/tagout, emergency action plan, emergency response, hazard communications, hearing conservation, safe electrical workplace, all OSHA, and stand-alone safety (including first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), emergency medical technician (EMT), etc);
* Seminars/Workshops/Webinars; and
* Tuition Reimbursement.
* Soft Skills (please note that this list is not all inclusive):
 -Adapting to Change
 -Anger Management
 -Assessments
 -Bankruptcy Laws
 -Basic Math
 -Branding
 -Business Policies and Procedures
 -Business Writing
 -Coaching/Mentoring
 -Communication Skills
 -Conducting Effective Meetings
 -Constructive Feedback and Criticism
 -Conflict Resolution
 -Creative & Innovative Ideas
 -Creative Thinking
 -Customer Service
 -Decision Making
 -Drug and Alcohol Education
 -Drug Testing
 -Effective Listening
 -E-mail Skills
 -Employee Relations
 -Emotional Intelligence
 -English as a Second Language
 -Facilitation
 -Foreign Culture and Customs
 -Forums
 -Fraud Detection/Prevention
 -GED Prep Courses
 -Generational Divide
 -Habits of Success People
 -HR Training (i.e., diversity, ethics, sexual harassment, etc.)
 -Informational Meetings
 -Interpersonal Communication
 -Interpersonal Skills Development
 -Interviewing Techniques
 -Languages
 -Leadership Courses
 -Legal Contracts
 -Legal Purchasing
 -Listening Skills
 -Literature
 -Marketing
 -Mentoring/Coaching
 -Monthly Meetings
 -Motivation
 -Myers Briggs
 -Navigating Difficult Conversations
 -Negotiation Skills
 -Notary Public
 -Optimizing Your Work/Life Balance
 -Orientation/On Boarding
 -Organizational Behavior
 -Personal Management/Health
 -Presentation Skills
 -Public Speaking
 -Reading
 -Safety
 -Sales
 -Strategic Planning
 -Stress
 -Summits
 -Teamwork/Team Building
 -Telephone Skills
 -Time Management
 -Train the Trainer (How to become a more effective trainer)
 -Workplace Politics
* Required/Regulatory Training – Training that is required by any other public agency or department is not eligible. These trainings may include but are not limited to EPA, Hazardous Waste, FDA, Workers Comp, OSHA, etc.;
 * Training that is already being reimbursed by another State or Federal training program (e.g. Ohio Workforce Guarantee, National Emergency Grant, etc.);
 * Training that leads to professional license (i.e., doctors, lawyers, accountants,etc.);
 * Training to maintain a professional license;
 * Travel costs;
 * CDL training and testing; and
 * Wages of trainees while being trained.

Eligible Training Costs

The Applicant may request reimbursement for up to 50 percent of the Applicant’s cost to train an employee (up to $4,000) and may be used for any of the following purposes:
 – Instructor costs;
 – Instructional materials.
Please note that these costs must be prorated per employee and will be capped at 25 percent of the cost of training per employee per training. Must be requested and approved in the application to be eligible.

Available Funding
This Voucher Program is operated as a reimbursable program. The Ohio Development Services Agency will reimburse the Applicant for up to 50 percent of the cost of the training (up to $4,000), after 1) the Applicant pays the full cost of the training, and 2) the employee successfully completes the training. Payment of the cost of the training by Applicant must come from private sources and cannot include any previously acquired public funds.

The invoice for reimbursement may only be submitted after an employee has successfully completed the approved training. The Applicant shall submit invoices no more than once during each quarter of the grant period unless it is the final invoice.

Funding approvals for this Voucher Program will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the training funds are completely committed, the Ohio Development Services Agency will hold subsequent applications in a “queue,” in the event that additional program funds become available.
The Ohio Development Services Agency reserves the right to hold any pending applications due to the Applicant or its Affiliated Entities being delinquent or non-compliant under any other agreement with the Ohio DSA, or has any outstanding tax or EPA liabilities with the State of Ohio.

Additional Information
Additional program information, including post-approval documents and processes, can be found at the following website: http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_wtvp.htm.
Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in these Voucher Program Guidelines shall have the meaning given to them in the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program Definitions FY’17.

Job Shadowing

(Submitted by Mick Whitt, Manufacturing Business Development Specialist, Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

If you are a business that would like to become involved with a job shadowing program for high school students please take to click on the link below for some great information.

We are currently working with two Pike County, Ohio high schools to provide students interested in learning more about specific careers. However, if your business is located some distance from these schools, please contact us and we can put you in contact with the appropriate people to make job shadowing a reality at your place of business.

This is great opportunity for the students to explore career paths, but it is also a chance for businesses like yours to meet the workforce of the very near future, and show them why your career is so exciting!

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Job Shadowing
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Shadowing student learn job possibilities
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Follow the link to learn more about Exploring Careers through Job Shadowing from thebalance.com.

If you are not in a position to host students for job shadowing, forward this article to someone who is, or to a high school student that could benefit from this information.

It is never too early to start preparing for the future!

You may email me at whitt.124@osu.edu or give me a call at 740-289-2071 ext. 252.

A look at tax changes for Ohio businesses and individuals

(Submitted by Brad Bapst, Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

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Now is a good time to look at various tax changes that have occurred in the past year and understand their impact on you or your business. What has been the impact of the municipal tax reform that went into effect on January 1? For business, has the occasional entrant treatment been an improvement? In this article CSH’s Sharon Reisman answers those questions and more. Read more…

Author: Sharon Reisman, CPA, JD with Clark Schaefer Hackett CPAs & Business Consultants

Ohio & West Virginia Food Hub Network learns from West Virginia Businesses

(Submitted by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) at The Ohio State University South Centers is leading an effort to cooperatively develop local and regional food systems by working with new and emerging food hubs and incubator training farms. The two-state Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network brings together food hub stakeholders and technical assistance providers in a peer exchange network to experience educational programming and peer learning.

The August meeting included a tour of Highland Market, a local foods grocery aggregating produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and other products from farms in the region. Over 80% of the store’s suppliers are within 150 miles of the grocery.

The August meeting included a tour of Highland Market, a local foods grocery aggregating produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and other products from farms in the region. Over 80% of the store’s suppliers are within 150 miles of the grocery.

In August, the network’s quarterly meeting featured regional food aggregation and distribution businesses in eastern West Virginia with a focus on the policies and procedures used by these businesses to effectively procure and sell locally produced food. The meeting was a joint program of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, and the Value Chain Cluster Initiative.

Meeting participants learned from Kimmy Clements, manager of the Highland Market, about the development of the local food grocery in Davis, West Virginia during a tour of the store. The market, which is a project of the Potomac Highlands Food and Farm Initiative, purchases locally produced meats, eggs, dairy, produce and much more largely from farms within 30 miles of the store, a practice meant to support small-scale producers in the region.

The day also included presentations from the Preston Growers Co-op, a cooperative of five farms in Preston County, West Virginia that jointly markets produce, eggs, and other food mainly to local schools. Farmers in the recently formed cooperative coordinate their production, jointly market to customers, and are working together to gain Good Agricultural Practices Certification. Participants also learned about the aggregation and distribution model of the Garrett Growers Co-op from a founding member of the business. The Maryland based co-op aggregates produce from twelve member farms and delivers to stores, restaurants, and through a Community Supported Agriculture program.

Kimmy Clements, manager of the Highland Market gives meeting participants a tour of the market in Davis, West Virginia.

Kimmy Clements, manager of the Highland Market gives meeting participants a tour of the market in Davis, West Virginia.

The meeting brought together almost 30 stakeholders from around the region to share their experiences and learn from one another. Jill Young of the Natural Capital Investment Fund’s Value Chain Cluster Initiative explains the value of this shared space, “The opportunity for shared learning builds awareness and trust amongst our hubs. That opens the door for stronger regional partnerships and real collaboration on future projects.”

If you are interested in learning more about food hubs or the Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network, please contact Hannah Scott at 740-289-2071. The next activity of the network is an educational webinar scheduled for October 13, 2016. The 11:30am webinar will feature representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency sharing information about loan resources for growers. For more information, please visit the Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network webpage.