Employment Training Panel
The California Employment Training Panel (ETP) is a state agency that provides funding to offset the costs of job skills training to assist employers in upgrading the skills of new and existing workers and to provide individual job seekers skills needed for full-time employment. ETP uses a pay-for-performance contract rather than a grant structure to distribute funding; ETP funding is earned after a trainee completes training and then works full time earning a contract-specific wage for at least 90 days. The ETP is funded by California employers through a special payroll tax, capped at $7 per worker per year, collected as part of the employers’ unemployment insurance tax liability.
- ETP will fund over $80M in contracts for FY 20/21, and these funds will help Santa Cruz County employers and workers be more competitive
- Employers select training topics, trainers, and which workers will participate to maximize the benefit for both the workers and the employer
- ETP reimbursement is $23 per training hour, per trainee
- Apprenticeship training is reimbursed at $18 and self-paced computer training at $9
- Existing workers can receive a maximum of 200 hours of training, and new workers can receive up to 260 hours.
- For Fiscal Year 20/21, the project cap for single employers, including small businesses, is $500,000 and for multiple employer contractors (e.g., Workforce Development Board or Community College), the project cap is $600,000
- Employers must document training hours have been completed and trainees have been retrained in jobs for a specific period and wage before ETP funding is earned
ETP prioritizes training programs for the following industry sectors: manufacturing, biotechnology, agriculture, nursing and allied healthcare, construction, high technology services, multimedia/entertainment, goods movement, transportation logistics, and clean energy technologies. ETP also prioritizes training programs addressing the impacts of natural disaster, including fire, drought, COVID-19, clean transportation, apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship, programs that serve traditionally underserved workforce populations (veterans, at-risk youth, offender, and individuals with barriers to employment), and economically disadvantaged communities. ETP partners with the Governor’s Office for Business and Economic Development to prioritize projects with job creation and a high regional or statewide economic impact. Private-for-profit employers and some non-profit employers can contract with ETP directly as a Single Employer. ETP also contracts with Multiple Employer Contractors that aggregate the training needs of multiple employers usually focused toward an industry sector, occupation, or geographic region.
ETP can fund training for new hires who are unemployed at the start of ETP-funded training and then placed into full-time employment, newly hired or existing full-time workers (Retrainee), Apprentices and Journey Workers, and Small Business Owners who own a business with nine or fewer full-time employees. To earn ETP funding, trainees must complete a minimum of eight hours of training and a post-training employment retention period, usually 90 calendar days. During the retention period workers must work full-time and earn at least $15/hour (new hire) and $18.34/hour (Retrainee). Wage variances are permitted for high unemployment areas and traditionally underserved populations. Currently certain parts of Santa Cruz, Freedom, and Watsonville are qualifying designated high unemployment geographic areas, as identified by the California Franchise Tax Board’s mapping tool. Wage requirements are updated annually and fixed to the calendar year in which the contract is approved.
Employers may select any combination of internal or external training providers. Training can be delivered in classroom or laboratory environments, manufacturers can include productive laboratory training (on-the-job training), using video conference/distance learning formats and non-interactive self-paced computer-based training formats. ETP funds employer-customized, job skills training, and in some cases, ancillary job readiness topics that address the needs of underserved trainee populations. ETP does not fund legally mandated training, e.g., sexual harassment or labor law, basic company orientation (onboarding), or training used to meet continuing education unit requirements (except registered nurses). ETP reimbursement is $23 per training hour, per trainee. Apprenticeship training is reimbursed at $18 and self-paced computer training at $9.
The ETP application process may take between four to six months, on average, to process or even longer. ETP provides technical assistance prior to the application process, during contract development, and throughout the contract life cycle to ensure training is effective and that the contractor maximizes reimbursement.