This year, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania branch of
WEDnetPA, housed in the Eberly College of Business Management Services Group,
is working with 35 contracted companies with almost $353,000 in grant money to
WEDnetPA is a state-administered program that reimburses
companies for employee training with state grant funds.
Since the program was created in 1999, more than 17,000
companies across Pennsylvania have used WEDnetPA job training to improve the
skills of their workers and enable them to better compete within their
WEDnetPA usually houses partners at institutions of learning,
including community colleges, and state schools, said WEDnetPA
partner Wendy Kopcyzk.
The IUP branch of WEDnetPa works with mostly manufacturing
companies and hospitals in Indiana and the surrounding counties.
“We don’t just have to stay within Indiana County, because
the companies are allowed to pick whichever WEDnetPA partner they want,”
Kopcyzk said. “Some companies have just been working with IUP for years, so
they come to us to administer their grants.”
The grant money covers a variety of training categorized as
two types of grants: soft skills training grants and information technology
Examples of soft skills training grants are Microsoft Office training,
communications skills. and basic manufacturing training. Some examples
of the information technology training are computer programming,
database management, and more technical types of manufacturing
training. There are many more types under each category that are
WEDnetPA eligible for reimbursement.
Companies have different methods of training they can choose
from that qualify for WEDnetPA funding, according to Kopcyzk.
They can have a third party come in and train their
employees, go to a conference, do in-house training, or contact a WEDnet
partner which will provide the training.
Under the Management Services Group at Eberly, WEDnetPA helps
companies who may be starting out in one of the other areas to train their
“Companies may start in the Small Business Development Center
or the Small Business Incubator, and then those companies grow and need training
for their employees,” Kopczyk said. “So, they come to us.”
WEDnetPA is virtually paperless when it comes to the
application process and reimbursement, according to Kopcyzk.
When a company goes to apply, they will submit an inquiry
that is reviewed to make sure the company meets all of WEDnetPA’s criteria.
After all the application information has been filled out and eligibility is
approved, the applications are ranked and assigned an allocation amount, which
is then sent to the state level for approval.
If extra funds are allocated from the state level, companies can
then request extra funding during the reallocation period.
Companies are eligible two out of three years or three out of
five years for a grant, and Kopcyzk usually notifies them when their application
“The feedback regarding IUP’s WEDnetPA operation services is
highly positive,” Assistant Dean Cyndy Strittmatter said. “We have an excellent
reputation as a state WEDnetPA partner and are committed to continue working
collaboratively with the statewide WEDnetPA office, other WEDnet partners and
companies that need training funds.”
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