Workforce Training Fund Program FAQs

Trainee FAQs

Why is the Workforce Training Fund Program an important opportunity (and why haven’t I heard of it before)?

The Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) is important because you and your colleagues can get training to help do your job more efficiently and effectively for FREE or at a highly reduced cost. And we’re not sure why, but this is the best kept secret in the nonprofit sector. For-profit businesses across the state have been taking advantage of the program for years, it’s time for nonprofits to join them!

How much money is available through WTFP and where does it come from?

There is approximately $20 million available for trainings through the fund. The WTFP is funded by a small surcharge on unemployment insurance payments. All for-profit businesses in Massachusetts are required to pay for unemployment insurance and nonprofits can choose to do so as well. If you pay into the fund, then you qualify to receive grant funds.

The WTFP is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public entity under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Will WTFP cover the full cost of my training?

The reimbursement rate varies by grant. Generally, the WTFP seeks to incentive investment in employee training (not replace it) and so many grants have a 50% reimbursement or matching component. See each individual grant page to view the requirements and funds available for each.

If I receive a grant will there be tax implications?

There may be tax implications for receipt of a Workforce Training Fund Express grant. Grantees are encouraged to discuss these implications with their tax advisors.

How do I know if I/ my staff are eligible?                                                                                                                                 

Any organization that pays for unemployment insurance through quarterly contributions is eligible. Click here to read more. To find out how your organization handles UI payments, ask the staff person who manages your payroll or you can also email your EIN to Emily Tamanaha ( If you are not eligible but would like more information about payment methods to find out if you should switch, click here.

In addition, your organization must have a Certificate of Good Standing from the that has been issued within 6 months. You can learn more about obtaining the certificate here.

What types of employees are eligible?

Both full and part-time employees may participate in trainings, but contract employees are not eligible to be trained by these funds. All trainees must be paid at their normal rate during training.

Can nonprofits of all sizes apply?

Most grants are open to organizations of all sizes. The Express Grant Program is open to organizations with fewer than 100 employees.

What if my organization is headquartered outside of Massachusetts?

Employees’ payroll must be handled within Massachusetts.

What if I work in Massachusetts, but live in another state?

Employees who live out of state are eligible as long as they are in payroll with an organization within Massachusetts (and their organization meets the other eligibility requirements).

What type of training am I eligible for?

If you’ve met all of the criteria listed above, you are eligible for any training that helps you do your job better or advance your career. The trainings must be related to your current role and cannot be a training that you are already required to take (such as OSHA training). See each grant page for grant-specific requirements.

Is the application a difficult process? How long does it take?

The application process varies by grant and generally by the amount of funds for which one is applying. See each grant page for additional instructions on applying.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. However, you must submit your application 6 weeks before the training you want to participate in begins.

Do I have to submit an application for each training I intent to take?

Express Grants applications must be submitted for individual one-off training opportunities. However, the General Program grant allows organizations to design a custom training curriculum (to be implemented over an extended time period).

How long does it take to find out if my application is approved?

This varies by each grant program. Please see each grant page to view the turnaround time for each.

If my application is approved, how quickly will I receive the funds?

Reimbursement for training funds is provided within 30 days after completion of training and submission of reimbursement request forms.

If my application is not approved, how soon can I reapply?

If your application is not approved, you can reapply any time.

How do I apply?


Trainer FAQs

Are there specific topics my training needs to cover?

No, your training can cover almost any topic, as long as there is a need for it. We recommend sticking to a topic you have experience presenting and one that is needed by nonprofit employees.

How do I apply to be a trainer? Do I need any certification or special degree to provide these trainings?

There are no set requirements to becoming a trainer, although you do need to formally apply here.

How long does the application process take?

The initial application can be completed within 30 minutes once you have gathered all the appropriate information. Applications may take longer if you are registering multiple courses.

Does the training have to take place in Massachusetts?

No, the training does not have to take place in Massachusetts. However all employees receiving the training must be on payroll in Massachusetts. Further, no grant funds can be used to cover trainee/trainer travel expenses.

Are there restrictions on the type of training allowed?

Few restrictions are placed on types of training allowed. What, how, and when it is taught is up to the employer.

As a trainer, how do I get paid for my services?

The participants will pay you directly prior to taking your training, as they normally would. The organization sending employees to training will be reimbursed through the WTFP but as a training provider, this will not impact your ability to charge for courses.

I still have questions. Who do I contact for additional information and resources?

For information on Info Sessions and Grant Application Workshops, click here. For additional help, contact Stephen Lavery at or by phone at (617) 717-6906.