The Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) continuously seeks grant monies beyond Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to address the needs of hard-to-reach populations with regard to education, training, employment, career pathways, and supportive services. Grant applications are aligned with local goals for providing services to hard-to-reach populations, including: veterans, returning citizens, homeless persons, and individuals with disabilities and English as a Second Language.
Current grant-funded programs include:
Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
The Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) are mandatory, formula-based staffing grants that are funded annually. Currently, JVSG operates on a five-year (FY 2015-2019), multi-year grant approval cycle.
The Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training (ASVET) makes grant funds available for use in each State to support Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) staff.
Federal Bonding Program
The operation of the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) is a remarkable example of public--private partnership. Under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor, The McLaughlin Company, as exclusive agent for Travelers Insurance, manages the program. This partnership and program longevity, along with a 99% success rate, are the primary reasons why employers have participated.
All parts of the workforce community (State workforce agencies, Workforce Development Boards, Community--Based Organizations) can use the FBP public--private partnership as a template to create other employment and training initiatives.
Under the FBP umbrella, the LRWDB has partnered with community organizations like Our House, Goodwill Industries, and the City of Little Rock to obtain and use grant monies for adult re-entry programs serving returning citizens and homeless persons. Most recently, the United States Department of Labor awarded $1.2 million to Little Rock to develop the Rock City Reentry Project.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
WOTC is a *federal tax credit *that encourages employers to hire workers from targeted groups. The tax credit is designed to help job seekers gain on-the-job experience, move towards economic self-sufficiency, and help reduce employer’s federal tax liability.
The Tax Credit taken into account for hiring qualified disabled veterans is $12,000 for first-year wages. The Tax Credit for hiring long-term Family Assistance recipients is applicable to 40 percent of first $10,000 of wages in year one and 50 percent of first $10,000 of wages in year two.
The Tax Credit for hiring other target groups, except summer youth employees, is up to $2,400 for each new hire: 40% of qualified first year wages for those employed 400 or more hours; 25% for those employed at least 120 hours (but less than 400). Qualified wages are capped at $6,000. Summer youth wages are capped at $3,000.
Targeted groups of job seekers that allow employers to qualify for the WOTC under certain conditions include:
- Qualified IV-A Recipient – individual who is a member of a family receiving assistance under a state plan approved under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act relating to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF/TEA)
- Qualified Veteran – member of a family receiving assistance under the Food Stamp Program, entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability following release from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Qualified Ex-Felon – person certified by the Designated Local Agency as one who: convicted of a felony under any statute of the United States or any State
- Vocational Rehabilitation Referral – person certified by the Designated Local Agency as having a physical or mental disability which, for that individual, constitutes, or results in a substantial handicap to employment, and was referred to the employer upon, or at any time after completing or while receiving, rehabilitative services
- Qualified Summer Youth – person certified by the Designated Local Agency as one who performs services for the employer between May 1 and September 15, and has attained age 16 but not 18, and has his/her principal place of abode within an empowerment zone or rural renewal community
- Qualified Food Stamp Recipient– person certified by the Designated Local Agency as one who is between age 18 and 40 and is a member of a family receiving assistance under a food stamp program or is receiving supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act
- Long-Term Family Assistance Recipient– member of a family that received Aid to Families with Dependent Children/Transitional Employment Assistance (AFDC/TEA) or member of a family that ceased to be eligible after August 5, 1997
- Unemployed Veterans – individuals who begin to work for an employer on or after November 22, 2011 who are unemployed for at least 4 weeks or veterans unemployed for at least 6 months. Qualified “tax-exempt” (i.e., 501c) organizations can now participate by hiring qualified veterans and are now eligible to claim the WOTC.
- Long-Term Unemployment Recipient – individual who is certified by the designated local agency as being in a period of unemployment not less than 27 consecutive weeks, and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under State or Federal law