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Customized Job Training


The Nebraska Department of Economic Development encourages businesses that are interested in applying for grant funds to work with their local community college in application preparation and development of their training plan.

Included in the economic development package is the Nebraska Customized Job Training Advantage that provides a flexible and discretionary custom job training program to help ensure the State’s workforce is prepared in advances in rapidly changing technology and industries.

Nebraska Job Training Grant Application

The purpose of the Nebraska Customized Training Grant Program is to provide employee training assistance to businesses that maintain, expand and diversify the state’s economic base and, in the process, retain and create quality jobs for Nebraska residents. These funds are administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). Program priorities are as follows:

  1. Customized training projects that result in increased investment and employment and where the training assistance is a significant incentive for the project to be undertaken in Nebraska rather than in another state;
  2. Non-incentive customized training projects where there is increased investment and employment but no incentive is involved; and,
  3. Customized training projects that involve retraining of existing workers to upgrade their skills as a result of investment in new capital.

Eligible Businesses

To be consistent with the overall purpose of economic development, training assistance is limited primarily to businesses engaged in activities which sell to a non-Nebraska market. Examples include: manufacturing, processing, warehousing, distribution, and headquarters operations are examples. Businesses whose activity is mainly retail or the selling of services to a local market would not be eligible. It will also be used only for training full-time employees not involved in administrative support, management or facility maintenance. Only businesses are eligible applicants.

Eligible Projects

Supported training is expected to be for training projects – those with both a start and end date. It is not intended to support ongoing training programs. No financial support will be provided for training that has been completed, is in progress prior to the grant, or that occurs more than 1 year beyond the start date of the contract. Capital investment related to the project is required and must be demonstrated in the grant application; investment can include expenditures on plant, equipment or technology.

Customized Training Projects for New Workers

For businesses in eligible industries and with eligible projects as described above, the general guidance on amounts that could be provided to assist with the training relate to the starting wage rate, as noted in the following two tables. Notice that there are minimum average starting wage rates required for assistance (to be changed each year on July 1),which is then graduated depending on location and wage. Also, a minimum non-FICA fringe benefit of 15% of the wage rate is required, and must include health insurance.

State Customized Job Training Grants, $ Per Job, For New Jobs Created

These are guidelines for awards up to the maximum of $4000/job. The actual amount of the award will vary depending on: the financial investment; number of jobs being created; types of jobs; training being provided and by whom; and geographic considerations.

Starting Wage

Range of Assistance

100% of average *










**Average starting hourly entry level wage rates are shown in the following table.

In addition, non-FICA fringe benefits provided by the company shall equal at least 15% of the starting wage.

2016 Starting Hourly Wage Rates For Projects Creating New Jobs

(to be used for training assistance on projects creating new jobs)

Omaha MSA

Lincoln MSA

Balance of State





















These wages are provided for comparison purposes and are subject to change without notification as wage information from the Department of Labor is updated. For the most current wage information contact Rose Baker at 402-471-1559 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Source: Nebraska Department of Labor Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wages Survey Data, 1st Quarter 2016.

Customized Training to Improve Productivity (no job creation)

Assistance to eligible businesses for customized job training projects where no new jobs are created will only be provided when there is investment in new capital (usually machinery and equipment) related to new skills development, and there is an increase in wages as a result of the training. General guidance on the amount to be provided is contained in the following table.

Assistance Guidelines For Eligible Customized Training Projects For Existing Workers

% Increase in Hourly Wage Following Training

Range of Assistance per Trainee





16% or more


Funds Available

Priority will be given to projects where an incentive is necessary. The program funding and use will be reviewed at least quarterly to determine whether redistribution of funds will be needed to meet the needs of this priority. Before preparing an application, please call the Rose Baker, Department of Economic Development, Economic Development Financial Packager to determine the availability of funding (402-471-1559 or 800-426-6505) or email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Approval Criteria

Applications will be reviewed in the order received and evaluated based on the information provided in this application, plus information obtained by Department of Economic Development staff. Approval and the amount granted per position trained will also be dependent on the availability of funds. Specific evaluation criteria will include the following:

  • Wage rate for positions trained
  • Fringe benefits for trained employees that are provided and paid for by the company (must be at least 15% of hourly wage, and include health insurance)
  • Cost of the training
  • Type of industry and its economic impact in the area of the project
  • Geographic location (the importance of state support for economic development in rural and economically distressed areas will be taken into account)
  • Significance of the capital investment, as it relates to the training
  • The importance of state funding to the completion of the training and associated project

Grant Application and Approval Process

The granting process is as follows:

  1. Call the DED Training Coordinator to determine funding availability (402-471-1559 or 800-426-6505)
  2. Complete and file the application form with DED
  3. Send notification letter to local Community College President
  4. Internal review of application by three-person review team
  5. Decision (and notification) regarding participation/non-participation by the state in the training project, including the amount per trainee, within two weeks of receiving a completed application with all required information
  6. Meeting with business to review contents of the grant agreement

Post-Selection Performance Requirements

  1. Contract:The contract will contain the following sections:
    • Business’ training obligations for the project
    • State funding approved and requirements for use of those funds
    • Time of Performance for the training
    • Reimbursement schedule
    • Commitment by the business to create/retain/upgrade the number of new jobs agreed upon, and maintain those positions for 24 months following the training period
    • Business reporting requirements
    • Any special terms and conditions to the project established by DED
    • Accounting, auditing, conflict of interest, political activity, and civil rights requirements
    • Non-compliance definitions and penalties
    • DED monitoring provision
    • Penalties for non-performance
  2. Performance Requirements: DED will review progress on the training project as needed, with at least one monitoring visit prior to final grant reimbursement. A mid-point report and a final report on the project will be required by the business on forms provided by DED. The review will assure the following:
    1. positions which job training funds were granted still exist
    2. positions to be trained are all filled
    3. employees are receiving the wages and benefits agreed to in the contract

Download Customized Job Training Program Application and Instructions (.docx or .pdf)

For clarification or program questions, contact:

Rose Baker,
Customized Job Training Program Administrator
Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Housing & Community Development Division
P.O. Box 94666
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4666
800-426-6505 or 402-471-1559
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Nebraska Department of Economic Development | Courtney Dentlinger, Department Director
301 Centennial Mall South | P.O. Box 94666 | Lincoln, NE 68509-4666
Phone (800) 426-6505 | Fax (402) 471-3778