Yes, there are several sources of potential funding. For example, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds can be used to offset costs associated with IRAPs. SREs and IRAP sponsors can apply to be added to the state Eligible Training Provider (ETP) list, as is the case with any other prospective training provider. Once on the ETP list, local American Job Centers (AJCs) can refer WIOA participants to IRAP sponsors and use Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) to pay for the training costs of participants who enroll in those IRAPs.
In addition to ITAs, the AJCs can fund portions of the on-the-job training (OJT) component of the IRAP using contracts, based on local policies. WIOA allows for OJT to be paid for with contracts, which can be made with providers that are not on the ETP list. WIOA OJT contracts can be used to fund OJT for one or more eligible participants and can be used to reimburse employers for the extraordinary costs of training at a level of up to 75% of the participants’ wages in certain circumstances. WIOA funds can also be used for supportive services such as transportation, books and supplies, and child care. We strongly encourage potential SREs and IRAP sponsors to partner with the workforce system and vice versa.
Other sources of funding include the following:
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). IRAPs are an allowable type of employer-based training that can be approved for a worker covered by the certification of group eligibility for the TAA program authorized by the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. For a worker to receive approval to enroll in an IRAP funded by TAA, the state must determine that the following six criteria are met in accordance with 20 CFR 617.22:
No suitable employment is available for an adversely affected worker;
The worker would benefit from appropriate training;
There is a reasonable expectation of employment following completion of training;
Training is reasonably available to the worker;
The worker is qualified to undertake and complete such training; and
Training is suitable for the worker and available at a reasonable cost. The TAA Program can pay for the expenses associated with related instruction (e.g., classroom and distance learning), tools, uniforms, equipment or books for an adversely affected worker’s participation in an IRAP.
For more information, please contact the appropriate Regional Trade Coordinator.
State Funds. Many states use statewide governor’s reserve funding to support RAPs, and consideration of the use of these funds to support IRAPs is strongly recommended. States have considerable flexibility in designing the uses of their statewide set-aside funds for allowable statewide activities, as noted in WIOA Section 134(a)(3). Such uses could pertain to RAPs, pre-apprenticeships, and IRAPs. Other state-level resources also can be used to support IRAPs, such as tax credits for eligible businesses for each apprentice employed in an IRAP.
Discretionary Grants. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) issues a variety of discretionary grants that can fund projects that include IRAPs as a training strategy. For instance, H-1B discretionary grant programs can incorporate IRAPs as a training strategy to provide participants with the skills, credentials, and experience necessary to enter middle- and high-skilled jobs across industries and occupations for which employers are using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers. In addition, the Education Stabilization Fund Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grants from the Department of Education can be used for apprenticeship activities in general, including IRAPs, if such activity is included in the grantee’s Statement of Work.
The GI Bill®.The GI Bill is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. GI Bill benefits can be used to help pay for books, supplies, and housing while a veteran is learning a trade or skill through on-the-job training (OJT). The IRAP program must already be approved, or the SRE or IRAP sponsor must gain approval for GI Bill benefits. IRAP sponsors can read the following for more information and determine if they meet the requirements for approval (i.e. wage increases, etc.): https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/education/OJT.pdf
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill