Workforce Incentives & Programs

North Dakota

Operation Intern

Operation Intern is designed to expand the number of internship, work experience and apprenticeship positions with North Dakota employers.  A qualified employer can access up to $4,000 of matching funds for each student with a maximum of 5 interns per funding window.

The primary focus of the Operation Intern program is private sector businesses in one of the targeted industries: Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Value-Added Agriculture, Tourism and Technology-Based Businesses, to include Cybersecurity. Funding may also be granted for other in demand occupations, such as healthcare.

To qualify for the program, employers must select a student who is:

a) enrolled in a North Dakota college or university taking at least 6 credits during the internship, or the semester prior to the internship,
b) a high school junior or senior, or
c) enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program, and

On a case-by-case basis, the Dept. of Commerce may approve the subsidization of a student enrolled in a college or university located outside of the state.

The one-to-one matching funds are provided after work has been performed and can be requested monthly or at the end of the experience. Documentation of wages paid and/or other compensation provided must be maintained by the employer and made available upon request.

Round two (May 1, 2022 thru June 30, 2023) of Operation Intern is no longer accepting applications as all funds have been allocated. If the pattern is similar to other years, they will likely begin accepting new funding cycle applications around February 1, 2023.

North Dakota New Jobs Training Grant

The North Dakota New Jobs Training Program offers a cash grant, in the form of a reimbursement of state income tax withholding from new full-time positions, to primary sector businesses locating or expanding in North Dakota. The reimbursement 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 agreement can be updated to accommodate new hires above and beyond those in the initial agreement. Here is a program brochure provided by Jobs Service ND.

Career Builders Scholarship & Loan Repayment Program

The  ND Career Builders Scholarship & Loan Repayment Program is aimed at attracting people into high need and emerging occupations in the state. The scholarship and loan repayment programs target the workforce needs of North Dakota. The goal is to reduce the number of unfilled skilled workforce jobs that require a two-year degree or less.

The scholarship and loan repayment programs are a public-private endeavor whereby for each dollar of private support, the state will contribute a dollar of public funding.

For the scholarship program, students must be admitted into a qualifying certificate or degree program in the state:  Qualifying programs are those at the associate’s level and below, or other programs up to a bachelors level that are not longer than 4 semesters or 6 quarters in length; Qualifying programs must relate to an high-need occupation.

For the repayment program, graduates of any program of study may apply for the ND Career Builders Loan Repayment by completing the application with their employer, within the requirements of high-need occupations.


Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program was created to act as a catalyst between Minnesota business and education in developing cooperative training projects that provide training for new jobs or retrain existing employees. The program provides matching grants to educational institutions to supply new-job training or retraining to existing employees.

Grants of up to $400,000 are awarded to the educational institution to develop and deliver custom training specific to business needs. A cash or in-kind contribution from the participating business must match the grant funds on at least a one-to-one basis. A “Short Form” application is available for grants of $50,000 or less, to assist smaller businesses in getting the customized training they need.

Up to $50,000 in Pre-Development Grants are also available to assist in covering the costs associated with planning a specific, large-scale Partnership Program project. The grant must demonstrate that the project will address education and skills training for high-wage, high-growth, and high skill occupations, businesses, and industries

Minnesota Pathways Program

The Pathways 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 who are at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines or those who are 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.

Up to $400,000 of Pathways funds per grant can be awarded for a project.  A “Short Form” application is available for grants of $50,000 or less, to assist smaller businesses in getting the customized training they need.  A cash or in-kind contribution from the contributing business must match Pathway funds on at least a one-to-one ratio.

Automation Training Incentive Pilot Program

The Automation Training Incentive Pilot Program provides grants to help small businesses train existing workers as quickly and efficiently as possible on new automation equipment and technology.

Grants are available to Minnesota businesses that have 100 or fewer full-time employees, are in the manufacturing or skilled assembly production industry, and that have recently invested in new automation technology or plans to invest in new automation technology within the project timeframe.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available. Minimum award of $10,000. Award amount is limited to $5,000 per employee trained.

Applications will be accepted from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 contingent on the availability of funds.

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 grants to help new or expanding businesses train new workers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Grants of up to $200,000 are available.  Award amount is limited to $5,000 to $10,000 per new employee trained based on wage rates.

Funding is available for businesses that are adding at least three (3) new jobs. Funds may be used for direct training costs including assessment, testing and certification costs, curriculum development, training delivery, trainee wages, training materials and supplies, training equipment and facilities, trainer travel and lodging costs. Training may be provided by an accredited MN educational institution, or with justification, provided in-house; by federal, state, or local agencies; by consultants; and/or by equipment vendors.

Businesses must be located in Greater Minnesota and be adding a minimum of three new jobs.  Businesses primarily engaged as a public utility or in retail sales at the project location, health care services, lobbying, gambling, professional sports, political consulting, leisure, hospitality or professional services provided by attorneys, accountants, business consultants, physicians, or healthcare consultants are not eligible.

SciTech Internship Program

SciTech connects STEM college students (science, technology, engineering and math) to paid internships that provide rewarding hands-on experience in small Minnesota businesses. Companies receive assistance finding qualified candidates and a $1:$1 wage match to cover 50% of the intern’s wages (capped at $2,500) when they hire a student through SciTech.

Eligible industries include Aerospace & Defense; Agriculture & Food Science; Biotechnology & Life Sciences; Fuels & Energy; Engineering Services; IT/Computer Technology; Mining, Materials, Manufacturing & Processing.