Federal grants aim to make Dufferin employers competitive

August 11, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Local businesses in Dufferin County qualify for grant money worth $260,000 from the federal government to invest in the growth of their companies.  Under the Canada Ontario Job Grant Program, thousands of dollars are now available for employee training through Georgian College’s Career and Employment Community Services department.   

The Canada Ontario Jobs Grant (COJG) is a federal funding program that has been around for a few years now to help Ontario employers develop their workplaces through training.

The main goal of this program is to help local business owners with direct financial support in order to help increase the skills of their workforce.

Up to $10,000 per person is available for training existing and new employees.  It could be software training, business systems, marketing, social media or high-skilled training.  The program allows eligible employers to choose specific training necessary to compete locally, nationally and globally. 

“Often the high price tag for training stops businesses from making this vital investment,” says Stacey MacNeil, Resource and Information Specialist at Georgian College. 

The grants will cover two-thirds of the costs for tuition, books, course materials and certification exams.

“It becomes a much more affordable investment benefiting both the employer and the employee,” she said.

Through the Canada Ontario Job Grant program along with Georgian College, employers will be provided between $500 and $10,000 per person for training costs.  There are a significant number of individuals and businesses who qualify to get training within Dufferin County. 

Anne Coulter, Resource and Information Specialist at Georgian College, says the program is very easy to access and help is available at Georgian’s Career and Employment Centre.   

Last year, 27 Dufferin County businesses trained over 340 employees.

“The program is an employer-driven initiative. This means that it is up to the business owner to select the training opportunities and employees that will best suit their business needs,” Ms. Coulter said.

There are some requirements that an employer must meet before they can apply for the grants.  The employer is responsible for contributing up to one-third of the training cost, must continue to pay their employee during training.

They must also be licensed to operate in Ontario and can apply for only training delivered in Ontario, have WSIB or alternate coverage and third-party liability coverage, and comply with all Health and Safety standards and must select only a training covered under the Canada-Ontario Job Grant. 

“The program is very easy to access and we help throughout the process.   Once an employer has selected the training they would like to provide their employees, they complete an online application through the Employment Ontario website,” Ms. Coulter said.  “Someone from our office will then contact the employer and assist throughout the remainder of the process”.

It is very important that an employer who wishes to have their employees participate apply well in advance of training.  “We recommend at minimum two weeks before the training to ensure that everything can be completed and approved. If an employer has a question as to whether their training would qualify, it’s always best to contact our office and we can always help clarify,” said Ms. Coulter. 

Interested businesses are invited to check or contact Georgian College’s Career and Employment Centre.

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