The American Society for Training and Development reports that Corporate America spends an estimated $55.7 billion each year on formal training of employees. In Illinois many companies find they must seek financial assistance to help fund the extensive training and retraining of their employees in order to remain competitive in a global economy. Currently, there are two major state and local sources of grant funds available to Illinois businesses for training activities.
Industrial Training Program
The Industrial Training Program (ITP) through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity assists manufacturing and manufacturing related companies in Illinois in the retraining of their workforce. Through single company grants, companies can secure training dollars to pay up to 50% of the cost of this training, utilizing either in house trainers, external consultants or educational providers. With multi-company grants, a company can apply together with any combination of its suppliers, its customers or its competitors who share similar training needs to make the training as cost effective as possible. As with the single company grant application, ITP multi-company grant funds can be used to pay up to 50% of the cost of the training provided either internally or externally. South Suburban College is the fiscal agent for a multi-company grant and can accept new companies into our program throughout the year.
Secretary of State (SOS) Workplace Literacy
The Secretary of State’s office awards competitive Workplace Literacy grants each year for Illinois businesses to create on-site literacy training programs for their employees. This program defines literacy training as basic reading, writing, computation and communication skills. Recipients are selected each year for $15,000 awards.
Tax Increment (TIF) Districts
Employee training is an allowable expense under the enabling legislation for Tax Increment Finance Districts in Illinois. Many TIF bodies include in their budgets training dollars which can be accessed by businesses within the TIF to upgrade the basic and technical skills of their employees. Guidelines within most TIF’s are modeled after the industrial Training Program except that grants are not restricted to manufacturers.