DWS announces new Internship Grant program

CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is offering grants to businesses through the Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF) to support internship opportunities for up to $12,480 per intern.

"Internship opportunities will allow Wyoming workers to gain valuable work experience while exploring career options and refining their skills in a real-world environment. While it is not a requirement of the program, we are hopeful the participating businesses utilize this grant funding as a recruitment tool for potential employees, allowing us to retain talent across a multitude of sectors in Wyoming," said Director Robin Sessions Cooley.

DWS staff is available to assist businesses with grant applications to support these important real-world learning opportunities for Wyoming's workforce. The application can be found here.

The grants will be available to all eligible Wyoming businesses that have registered with the Secretary of State and are in good standing with Unemployment Insurance and Worker's Compensation. Preference will be given to businesses in preferred industries as defined by the Wyoming Workforce Development Council. A list of preferred industries can be found here. Eligible internship programs will be required to have a structured learning experience designed to offer interns the opportunity to more fully explore career interests.

"The Wyoming Workforce Development Council sees the Internship Grants as a needed accompaniment to the federally funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs it shepherds for Wyoming," said council chairman Jim Engel. "We've heard from many businesses that assistance with internships is needed to round out an employer's toolbox to increase skills of Wyoming's workforce."

Internship Grant funding may be used on a reimbursement basis for up to $12/hour and up to 1,040 hours/state fiscal year, with limits on the number of interns based on business size (per state fiscal year) as follows:

  • One intern for businesses with 1-8 employees
  • Up to two interns for businesses with 9-49 employees
  • Up to three interns for businesses 50+ employees

Internship Grants are also available for businesses responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants follow the same guidelines as the WDTF Internship Grants and will additionally require evidence of a public health and/or economic relief component in the proposed structured learning experience. Examples of opportunities that could fall under the Coronavirus Relief WDTF Internship Grant subset include:

  • Healthcare: Contact tracing, interns for hospitals or other healthcare facilities
  • Manufacturing: PPE, hand sanitizer
  • Technology: Developments to support telehealth options or online banking applications
  • Social Assistance: Food banks, domestic violence service providers, etc.

Intern eligibility is reserved for those who do not qualify for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or Vocational Rehabilitation services in order to compliment federal-funded work experience opportunities and not create a competing grant option. Individuals who qualify for WIOA or Vocational Rehabilitation services and are interested in internship opportunities are encouraged to contact the local Workforce Center for more information.

For more information about the WDTF Internship Grant program, please call 307-777-8717 or email dws-wdtf@wyo.gov.

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