With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.5 percent and the economic recovery appearing to slow, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has published a free white paper, "Training Grants and You: Expansion Through Career Development",to help CPAs and financial professionals understand and locate federal economic stimulus grants for training and specialized certifications.
The paper identifies nearly $6 billion in federal budget andeconomic stimulus funds available through the U.S. Department of Labor that businesses and job seekers can use to improve their professional skills. Increasingly, available jobs in the U.S. economy require higher levels of education and skill than in the past.
“People who have been in transition for an extended period of time may be able to get government stimulus money for training to keep their skills current,” said Carol Scott, AICPA vice president for business, industry, and government. “This white paper can help CPAs direct their organization to government-subsidized job training for eligible new employees, including those who have been previously unemployed or dislocated.”
The Employment and Training Administration, a part of the Labor Department, has allocated for workforce training $2.9 billion annually for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. Additional funds are available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, economic stimulus legislation, for on-the-job or direct training.
The paper is particularly timely for businesses as 56 percent of respondents in the most recent AICPA Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey reported that they expect their organizations to expand in the next 12 months. Conducted quarterly in collaboration with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, the survey is a barometer of the outlook of CPA decision makers.
Through Labor Department One-Stop Centers and local workforce boards, individuals and firms may apply for financial assistance to enroll in courses that add to their skill base through national emergency grants, apprenticeships, structured work experience, or work share programs.