By Mark Dolinski, VP of Training & Professional Development
The continuous training and professional development of employees is a key aspect for growing your company. The link between training and retention of employees is clear.
“One of the most common missteps made by organizations is simply not prioritizing employee development. It is not enough to send people to training once a year,” said Abby Lewis, Senior Product Manager for Harvard Business Review Corporate Learning. “Learning is now part of the modern workplace contract, and it should be a part of workplace culture, as workers expect investment in the skills, knowledge and experiences that will keep them productive and employable.” (HR Daily Advisor)
With the importance of training and professional development established, finding ways to financially support training efforts is critical. Fortunately for many companies in Pennsylvania, there is financial support. The Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA) was established to position companies across Pennsylvania to be more competitive through enhancing the skills of employees. To date, more than 1.2 million employees have been trained through the WEDnet program.
Is my company eligible?
WEDnet supports in-state businesses and out-of-state companies relocating to Pennsylvania. Eligible businesses range from manufacturing, agriculture, business services, healthcare, building and construction, bio-medical and more. Numerous manufacturers continue to use WEDnet funding to help supplement the investment of sending employees to the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s (GRCA) professional development programs including the Lead Worker Certificate Program, Supervisor Certificate Program and Essentials of Effective Leadership Program.
An important aspect of the WEDnet program is that businesses determine their own training needs and can select from onsite, offsite or online delivery of programming. Examples of eligible training programs include customer service, leadership, computer operations, communication, teamwork to soldering, tooling, robotics, TQM and welding.
Get started and learn more
Visit WEDnet’s website, wednetpa.com to find out if your company is eligible. WEDnet has more than two dozen partners located throughout the state Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University serve as two knowledgeable partners in Berks County
WEDnet makes the application process and receiving funds very simple. Once your company is determined to be eligible, you complete an online application along with your training plan to request grant funding. Once the application is approved, you will receive an award letter to begin the training program. When the training is completed, submit your documentation and you will be reimbursed for eligible costs.
Companies may apply beginning June 1. Applications are competitive and are reviewed in the order they are received by the state office, so now is the time to begin planning your training initiatives for the next 12 months. The WEDnet program runs on a fiscal year — July 1 through June 30 — for which funds are awarded. Training grant amounts are a maximum of $2,000 per employee and up to $100,000 per company.
GRCA is here to help you maximize your training budget and make the best training decisions. Our philosophy is that by offering great training programs, we can help you create a dynamic workplace attractive and engaging to your most valuable resource, your employees Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.