Without a doubt, the last 2+ years of the pandemic have brought forth immense change for business. The complex intersection of demographics, pandemic, supply-chain crunches, and more, has brought forth a variety of government programs designed to assist job seekers and businesses alike for the provision of a robust, well-trained, and aligned workforce. Listed below is further information on government programs that can be helpful to your business.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): ARPA was enacted on March 11, 2021, and provides for an infusion of resources via a wide-ranging program of funding, payments, business grants, and more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This $1.9 trillion package spans state & local fiscal recovery funds, direct financial assistance, assistance to individuals and families, education & childcare, health, transportation, and more with a long-term recovery focus. Montana was approved for nearly $2 billion in funds, of which the state has allocated nearly $175 million for child care, worker training, and affordable housing and heating assistance. Stay tuned to this page for updates on ARPA-funded programs being implemented in the Flathead Valley as they come online.
Federal Bonding Program: This is a unique program that provides businesses and insurance policies related to the loss of money or property due to employee dishonesty. It is targeted as a tool to incentivize employers to hire individuals, who, due to their prior involvement in the justice system, may otherwise be overlooked.
Incumbent Worker Training Program: The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT) is available through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to help offset skills-based training costs for existing workers in small Montana businesses. Grant amounts are up to $2000.
Rapid Retraining Program: The Montana Legislature passed a bill allowing $6 million of state ARPA funds to be designated for the Montana Rapid Retraining Program (MRRP). Business needs and programs are being aligned throughout the state. Check back here for Flathead Valley Rapid Retraining Programs as they are implemented.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program (WOTC): The WOTC is a federal tax credit and incentive program which provides employers with a tax credit when they hire job seekers from a number of target groups with barriers to employment.
Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund: The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program (BSTF) Job Creation funds are awarded to local and tribal governments in the form of grants or loans to assist basic sector businesses in creating good paying jobs for Montana residents.