Before You Are Approved
Q1. What is the RochesterWorks! Training Grant?
RochesterWorks! has a training grant that can cover the costs of education or training for individuals who need to update their skills to find a job or advance in their career. Funding for the RochesterWorks! Training grant comes from federal Workforce Innnovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) appropriations. The grant can cover training costs at many area colleges, universities, vocational schools, and proprietary training institutions. The grant is based mainly on whether you can show that you need the training to find suitable, full time work. To get started, just come in to either our 255 N. Goodman St. location or our location at 276 Waring Rd. to register with us. You may come in at any time during our hours of operation (Click here for hours and locations). You do not need an appointment.
Q2. Who is eligible for Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) training funds?
Training funds may be available to Monroe County residents who can demonstrate they are unable to sustain employment or improve their employment status with their current skills. Usually this involves working with a staff member at one of our career centers who will provide services to help you look for work. This might involve revising a resume or cover letter, helping with interviewing skills, and reviewing job search records and strategies. Based on this assessment, you and the staff member may determine that additional training is needed in order to find suitable employment. You may need to meet certain income guidelines to be eligible for the grant.
Q3. Do I need to live in Monroe County to be eligible?
This is a locally-established policy. RochesterWorks! can approve training funds for individuals who live in Monroe County or dislocated workers who were laid off from a Monroe County employer.
Back to Top
Q4. Is all training eligible for WIOA funds?
No, there are some rules established by Congress that must be followed.
- WIOA funds can only be used for training that is linked to employment opportunities in the local job market. See the list of Monroe County demand occupations to view the job titles for which training would most likely be approved.
- An individual must be suitable for the training he/she is requesting and have the skills and qualifications to successfully complete the selected training program. If a school has specific entrance requirements, an applicant must meet those requirements in order to be approved for WIOA funds.
- WIOA funds can only be used if an individual is unable to get grant assistance from any other sources to pay for training. This includes sources such as scholarships, federal or state-funded training funds, Trade Adjustment Assistance, federal Pell grants, state TAP grants, and employer-sponsored training allowances.
Q5. Can college courses be covered?
Yes, if a degree is required for the type of work being sought and all other conditions are met, i.e., training is in a demand occupation, the program can be completed in two years or less, no other source of financial aid is available, etc. Please note that bachelor degree programs can only be funded for Dislocated Workers. Master degree programs cannot be funded.
Q6. Can prerequisite courses be covered?
Prerequisites are not covered. Individuals determined to be in need of training must have the skills and qualifications necessary to successfully complete the selected training program. A training grant will only be approved after an individual has met the entrance criteria established by the training provider and been accepted into a program.
Back to Top
Q7. Are correspondence classes or home study programs allowed?
Correspondence courses and home study programs cannot be covered by the RochesterWorks! training grant. However, training funds may be used support distance learning (on-line courses, e-learning, etc.) when it is part of a curriculum that:
- leads to completion of a credential-bearing training program;
- requires students to interact with instructors; and
- requires students to take periodic tests
Q8. Are there any other guidelines regarding training that may be approved?
Each local area receiving WIOA funds may establish guidelines that determine what training can be approved. Examples of guidelines in the RochesterWorks! area include:
- Training should lead to full-time employment.
- Course of study must be completed in two years or less.
Q9. Is there a maximum amount available to an individual?
Yes, there is a locally established limit of $5,000 for those who qualify as adults or dislocated workers under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). For individuals pursuing CDL (Commercial Driver License) training, the limit is $2,000 ($3,500 if the individual meets certain income guidelines).
Back to Top
Q10. Can I use the RochesterWorks! training grant with other sources of financial aid, such as the federal Pell grant, the New York State TAP grant, scholarships, student loans, and employer tuition benefits?
You may use other sources of financial aid along with the grant, if available to you. In fact, our policies require that you make full use of any other grants or scholarships available to you in order to receive the RochesterWorks! training grant. So if you are attending a college, LPN, or other program eligible for federal student aid, you must complete the FAFSA form to apply for the federal Pell grant and apply for New York State TAP on the Higher Education Services Corporation website, even if you know that you will be denied for these grants. If your employer provides a tuition benefit, you will need to apply for that benefit as well. If you are denied for federal or state assistance, you may still receive the RochesterWorks! training grant, since the eligibility criteria are different. Please be aware that the RochesterWorks! training grant is applied to your tuition and fees before any student loans.
Q11. Can I collect my Unemployment benefits while in training? What is Section 599?
Section 599 is a provision in the Unemployment Insurance Law that makes it possible for unemployment recipients to receive benefits while attending a training course or program. The training, however, must be approved by the Department of Labor. When training has been approved under this provision, unemployment recipients are excused from the requirement to look for work, and may be eligible for additional weeks of benefits when funding is available.
If approved, you may be eligible for up to a maximum of 26 weeks of additional Unemployment benefits. However, since funding for additional benefits is not always available, approval of your training does not guarantee that you will receive additional benefits or that your additional benefits will cover the entire period that you are in training.
If you would like to apply for Section 599 training approval, please come in to either our 255 N. Goodman St. location or our location at 276 Waring Rd. and speak to a career center representative.
Q12. What is involved in applying for training funds?
The following steps are usually involved in the training application process:
Come in to a RochesterWorks! Career Center to register with us. Then click here to sign up for the Training Grant Information workshop.
Meet with a staff member to review what you have done to look for work and follow through with any suggestions. When appropriate, you will be referred to a career center representative for an individual appointment.
Complete the Training Application Packet.
Follow the instructions in your Training Application Packet to schedule an appointment with a career center representative to review training request. If you are changing careers, you may be required to do more career exploration before your request can be considered.
Q13. Can I apply for training more than once?
Generally, no. However, there are several exceptions. In addition, please note that if you received training from another One-Stop Career Center in New York State, you may also be ineligible for a second grant from RochesterWorks! In any case, it is recommended that you call a career center representative to see if you might be eligible. We will check our records to make sure that you complied fully with your previous training enrollment agreement.
Back to Top
Once You Have Been Approved
Q1. Once I have been awarded the RochesterWorks! training grant, is there anything that I need to do to keep the grant?
Since funding for the RochesterWorks! training grant is part of the overall funding for our comprehensive career center services, we work with every grant recipient to make sure that the training will lead to suitable work. For that reason, grant recipients accept certain responsibilities when they accept the grant, including regular contact with your career center representative. Your failure to comply with these responsibilities could lead to the loss of your grant. Normally, your career center representative will ask you to contact them at least monthly to give an update on how your classes are going. If your contact information changes, you should inform your career center representative immediately. The specifics regarding regular contact and other documents that we will need from you are written out on the Employment and Training Plan and Training Enrollment Agreement that you signed at your final appointment with your career center representative. You should keep these documents somewhere where you can refer to them continually. You should give special attention to the Customer Responsibility section of the Employment and Training Plan. This section will give you exact dates that certain items are needed from you. Typical documentation needed from our training customers includes class attendance, grades or progress reports, the bill and course schedule for future semesters or sessions, and your certificate of completion, diploma, or degree at the end of the course.
Q2. Once I have been approved for the RochesterWorks! training grant, do I need to reapply for my next semester(s)? How do future semester bills get paid?
When you are approved for a RochesterWorks! training grant to cover the cost of a college or other multi-semester program, you are approved for a specific number of sessions or semesters and a specific end date. This information is included on the Employment and Training Plan that you sign at your final appointment with your career center representative. Any changes to this plan must be approved by your career center representative in advance. Although you have been approved for funding for future semesters, RochesterWorks! will not automatically pay for your second and subsequent semesters. It is your responsibility to submit an official bill from your bursar’s office to your career center representative as soon as you receive that bill. (Internet printouts are not acceptable). The bill must be accompanied by your course schedule. If you do not submit your bill and course schedule to your career center representative at least one week prior to your semester start, you may lose your training grant entirely. We will not be able to remind you to submit your bill to us. It is your responsibility to remember to do so. Once you submit your bill, RochesterWorks! will send a promise of payment to the training provider. This promise of payment is usually sent within two weeks.
Back to Top
Q3. Do I need to submit attendance? To whom and how often?
We need attendance from almost every training or educational program that we fund. If you do not turn in your attendance on time, your bill may not be paid. In some cases, your school will forward your attendance directly to us. However, in most cases you are responsible for submitting your attendance directly to your career center representative. The number of weeks of attendance needed corresponds to your school’s refund period. That period is different for each school or college. If you are attending a college program, you will need to submit your attendance forms every single semester. (Please remember that we will also need a copy of your grades at the end of each semester). You should have been given some blank attendance forms by your career center representative when you signed your Employment and Training Plan. When you get down to the last blank form, please make photocopies for yourself. If you have already run out of forms, click here to access and print more copies. Or call your career center representative to get more forms. You may submit these forms directly to your career center representative as soon as they are due. Feel free to mail them to the address listed on the website, fax them, drop them off, or you may scan copies of the forms and e-mail them, whichever method is most convenient for you. For a list of career center representatives click here.
Q4. I have forgotten who my career center representative is. What can I do?
If you still do not know who your career center representative is you may call (585) 258-3516 to find out. Be prepared with your name, phone number, and RochesterWorks! NY member number when you call.
Q5. I am filling out my income tax forms. Is the RochesterWorks! training grant taxable? Will you be sending me any tax-related forms in the mail?
The RochesterWorks! training grant, like most scholarships, is not taxable. Therefore, you will not receive any tax-related documents from RochesterWorks! If the RochesterWorks! training grant does not cover the entire cost of your education, you may be able to receive income tax deductions or credits for the amount not covered by RochesterWorks! or other grants or scholarships, even if paid for by student loans. Please check with your tax advisor to see how you may get the maximum tax benefit from your education or training.
Back to Top