Operation Intern

Operation Intern is designed to expand the number of internship, work experience and apprenticeship positions with North Dakota employers. A qualified business that employs interns is eligible for matching funds of up to $30,000 per legislative biennium. A match of up to $3,000 per intern is available.

Operation Intern requires that the students must be from a North Dakota College or University.  However, a company may request to hire a student attending an institution that closely borders North Dakota if the company demonstrates the need for additional candidates.

Employers must select student interns that meet one of the following critera:
• Enrolled in a North Dakota college or university taking at least six credits during the internship or in the semester prior to the internship.
• A high school junior or senior.
• A student enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program.

A private sector match of 50% or more of the compensation to the student is required. Compensation may include wages and stipends, tuition and fees, books, housing assistance or tools and equipment.

Workforce Recruitment Credit

A business that employs extraordinary recruitment methods to recruit and hire employees for hard-to-fill positions in North Dakota is eligible for a credit equal to five percent of the compensation paid during the first 12 consecutive months. The credit is allowed in the first year following the year in which the employee completes the 12 consecutive month employment period.

To be eligible for the credit, an employer must pay an annual salary that is at least 125 percent of North Dakota’s average wage and must have employed all of the following recruitment methods for at least six months to fill a position for which the credit is claimed:
• Contracted with a professional recruiter for a fee.
• Advertised in a professional trade journal, magazine or other publication directed at a particular trade or profession; provided employment information on a website for a fee.
• Paid a signing bonus, moving expense or atypical fringe benefits.

In addition, if an employer claims the credit, an employee hired in a hard-to-fill position is allowed a deduction for a signing bonus, moving expenses, or atypical fringe benefits paid by the employer.

North Dakota New Jobs Training Grant

The North Dakota New Jobs Training Program offers a cash grant, in the form of a refund of the employer’s portion of an employee’s state income tax withholding, to primary sector businesses locating or expanding in North Dakota. The refund is based on the number of jobs created and salaries of these jobs, and is projected over a period of 10 years. The program distributes funds on a quarterly basis. The contract can be updated to accommodate new hires above and beyond those in the initial contract.

Workforce 20/20 Program

This program provides matching grants to assist qualified North Dakota employers in training or upgrading their employees’ skills.

Qualified employers are those that meet one of the following criteria:
• New to the state.
• Expanding existing operations in the state.
• Introducing new industry technologies or production methods.

Application to the state, and its approval, must be completed before the training


Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program was created to join Minnesota businesses and schools in developing a competitive workforce. The program provides grants to one or more educational institutions to supply new-job training or retraining to existing employees.

Funds awarded by the program may be allocated to training-related costs or educational infrastructure improvements to assist current businesses or businesses interested in locating operations in Minnesota. Participating businesses must match grant amounts with equal or greater amounts of in-kind contributions. Two separate grant processes are available, one for grants up to $50,000 and the other for larger grants of up to $400,000.

Predevelopment Program: grants are also available to assist in covering the costs associated with planning a specific, large-scale Partnership Program project. For more information on predevelopment grants, click here.

Hire Education Loan Program (HELP)

The Hire Education Loan Program (HELP) is a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) Program established to assist Minnesota businesses in obtaining the training they need for new or existing employees by providing short-term, no interest loans directly to business. Loans are awarded to businesses that contract with training institutions for needed training.

The maximum loan amount is $250,000 and there may be a loan origination fee of up to two percent. In addition, each individual employer may have only one outstanding loan at any given time.

HELP loan eligibility is determined by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board according to training needs, availability of other funding sources, economic viability of the firm, and quality of the jobs for which training is provided. The board gives priority to loans that provide training for jobs that are permanent, provide health care coverage and other fringe benefits, and have a career or job path with prospects for wage increases. Typically, several grant rounds are held annually.

Minnesota Pathways Program

The Program is designed to act as a catalyst between business and education in developing cooperative training projects that provide training, new jobs and career paths for individuals making the transition from public assistance to the workforce.

Grants are awarded to educational institutions with businesses as partners. Public and/or private educational institutions within the state are eligible. Preference will be given to projects that provide employment, with benefits paid to employees and projects with defined career paths.

All projects must have at least one educational institution and one business working together. Funds may be used for educational infrastructure improvements necessary to support businesses located or intending to locate in Minnesota. Requests for wage subsidies and tuition reimbursements are ineligible.

$400,000 of Pathway funds per grant can be awarded for a project. A cash or in-kind contribution from the contributing business must match Pathway funds on at least a one-to-one ratio.

About the Program.

Health & Human Services Training Program

This program aims to alleviate worker shortages in the health care and human services industries and to increase opportunities for current and potential direct care employees to qualify for advanced employment in the health care and human services fields through training and education.

Grants are awarded to qualifying consortiums to provide training. Consortiums may include employers within the health and human services industry, WorkForce Centers, and counties. A public or private higher education institution and at least one employer must be present in the consortium.

Up to $400,000 may be awarded. Funds may be used for training-related costs or for educational infrastructure improvements necessary to support businesses located or intending to locate in Minnesota. A cash or in-kind contribution from the contributing business must match program funds on at least a one-to-one ratio. Costs are paid on a reimbursement basis.

Special Incumbent Worker Training Program

This programs is intended to expand opportunities for businesses and workers to gain new skills that are in demand in the Minnesota economy.

Special Incumbent Worker Training Program grants-in-aid may be awarded to state or local government units (including state universities and MnSCU institutions), non-profit organizations, community action agencies, business organizations or associations, or labor organizations. All projects must include the participation of at least one accredited educational institution and business working together.

Funds may be used for direct training services to provide an increase in the job-related skills of participating incumbent workers. An incumbent worker is defined as an individual employed by a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization in Minnesota with at least one full-time paid employee. Requests for wage subsidies are ineligible. Up to $400,000 of Special Incumbent Worker funds per grant can be awarded for a project. Cash or in-kind contributions from the participating business(es) must match grant funds on at least a one-to-one ratio. Costs are paid on a reimbursement basis.

Grant application deadlines are posted on the MJSP Board web page and are also published in Minnesota’s State Register. Interested businesses should contact their local accredited Minnesota educational institution or other eligible organization as listed above to inquire about the possibility of submitting a grant application.

Low Income Worker Training Program

Low Income Worker Training Program grants-in-aid may be awarded to Minnesota public, private, or non-profit entities that provide employment services to low-income individuals or partnerships of two or more of these entities. This program is intended to be used as a means for covering the cost of training for training-ready individuals who have incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal poverty line to acquire additional skills in order to move up the career ladder to higher paying jobs and economic self-sufficiency.

Eligible organizations may use grant funds to provide eligible trainees with work-skills training and education. The use of grant funds may also include training-related materials and supplies and when deemed appropriate by the Board, up to 10% of direct training costs may be used for project-related administrative costs.

The MJSP Board awards the grants. Grant application deadlines are posted on the MJSP Board web page and are also published in Minnesota’s State Register.

Job Training Incentive Program

The Job Training Incentive Program provides training grants up to $100,000 to new or expanding businesses located in Greater Minnesota.

A total of $900,000 is available through June 30, 2016.  An additional $900,000 will become available July 1, 2016. Businesses will be required to match the grant on a 1:1 basis.  The funds may be used to pay direct training costs for workers in new jobs; including training wages for on-the-job training, curriculum development, delivery of training, materials and supplies, training equipment and facilities, and trainer travel and lodging costs.  Funds may also be used for assessment, testing and certification costs.  Training may be provided by in-house, by institutions of higher education, by federal, state, or local agencies, by consultants, or equipment vendors.

Funding is available for businesses that are adding at least three (3) new jobs.  The new jobs must pay wages at least equal to the average weekly wage for the county in which the jobs are located.  For more information, click here to visit MNDEED’s website.