Many business owners are surprised to discover that Indiana is among the top states in continued economic growth. In 2010, the rate of economic growth was double that of the rest of the country, according to a report by the Indiana Business Review. Despite past performance, it can difficult for companies to maintain steady pace of growth without incentives and other programs. The good news is that Indiana offers business incentive and grant programs to help offset corporate investment costs. One such program is the Skills Enhancement Fund (SEF) that offers a Workforce Training Grant to reduce qualifying corporate training costs. To help clients prospects and others understand the program and determine if they qualify, Barnes Dennig has provided a summary of key information below. 

About the Program

The Skills Enhancement Fund is part of a broader suite of incentive programs designed to maintain and increase the competitiveness of local companies and ensure ongoing capital investment in the state. The fund which is grant driven provides eligible companies a grant of up to 50% of proposed training programs. The grants are generally made over a two year period and require a company to submit a formal application for review and approval.

Application Criteria
There are several criteria that must be met in order to qualify for the program, including the following restrictions:

  • Costs for training must be used to grow the capital investment of the state of Indiana.
  • Program must be used to create and retain full time position for Indiana residents at or near the training location.
  • The training cost must be eligible, support the purpose of the fund, and meet all the requirements set forth in Indiana Code 5-28-7.The grant amount rewarded to each company will vary based on program specifics. However, as a general guideline the grant may not exceed 50% of the company’s training budget.

Eligible Expenses

The program clearly indicates which expenses are eligible to be reimbursed as part of the program. They generally include the cost of necessary items to facilitate training including supporting class materials. Examples of eligible expenses include; trainer wages, wages for class participants, necessary software licensing, reasonable travel expenses for employees to attend training including airfare, hotel and registration fees. It’s important to note there are limits on what total percentage of the awarded grant may be spent on certain activities. Finally, disqualified expensed include any expenses incurred before the agreed upon commencement date, expenses related to federally mandated training such as OSHA and new employee orientation and related training do not qualify.
Reporting Requirements
Once approved for the training contract grant, a participating company is required to submit annual reports highlighting several pieces of key information, including:

  • Summary statistics relating to training, training expenses and capital investment that occur in the applicable year
  • Individual employee data to support contractual employment thresholds
  • Training expense information and data supporting the positions trained will be required for each payment request 

Contact Us

There are a number of business tax incentives and other programs to help Indiana businesses thrive. Although each program has specific eligibility requirements, many local companies can benefit from them. If you’re company is interested in applying to the Skills Enhancement Fund, or have questions about other state or federal tax incentives, Barnes Dennig wants to help. For additional information contact us at 317-572-1130, or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.