Upon request, the commissioner shall provide or coordinate the provision of program services under sections 116L.40 to 116L.42 to a business eligible for grants under section 116L.42. The commissioner shall specify the form of and required information to be provided with applications for projects to be funded with grants under section 116L.42.
(a) The commissioner may enter into an agreement to establish a project with an employer that:
(1) identifies program costs to be paid from sources under the program;
(2) identifies program costs to be paid by the employer;
(3) provides that on-the-job training costs for employees may not exceed 50 percent of the annual gross wages and salaries of the new jobs in the first full year after execution of the agreement up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible employee;
(4) provides that each employee must be paid wages at least equal to the median hourly wage for the county in which the job is located, as reported in the most recently available data from the United States Bureau of the Census, plus benefits, by the earlier of the end of the training period or 18 months of employment under the project; and
(5) provides that job training will be provided and the length of time of training.
(b) Before entering into a final agreement, the commissioner shall:
(1) determine that sufficient funds for the project are available under section 116L.42; and
(2) investigate the applicability of other training programs and determine whether the job skills partnership grant program is a more suitable source of funding for the training and whether the training can be completed in a timely manner that meets the needs of the business.
The investigation under clause (2) must be completed within 15 days or as soon as reasonably possible after the employer has provided the commissioner with all the requested information.
The commissioner must not enter into an agreement under subdivision 2 unless the commissioner determines that sufficient funds are available.
The commissioner shall allocate grant funds under section 116L.42 to project applications based on a first-come, first-served basis, determined on the basis of the commissioner's receipt of a complete application for the project, including the provision of all of the required information. The agreement must specify the amount of grant funds available to the employer for each year covered by the agreement.
The commissioner may charge each employer an application fee to cover part or all of the administrative and legal costs incurred, not to exceed $500 per employer. The fee is deemed approved under section 16A.1283. The fee is deposited in the jobs training account in the special revenue fund and amounts in the account are appropriated to the commissioner for the costs of administering the program. The commissioner shall refund the fee to the employer if the application is denied because program funding is unavailable.