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The Return to Earn Grant Program


The Piedmont Workforce Development Board has been awarded a $92,155 grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia to assist small businesses to incentivize unemployed individuals to return to the workforce. This innovative program serves as a dual-purpose initiative to help unemployed Virginian's transition back into living-wage jobs, particularly in the childcare industry, while providing support to small businesses to assist with their hiring needs. 

While many companies are offering hiring bonuses, the Return to Earn Grant Program serves small businesses that may not have the resources to provide this financial support. The initial launch of this program will be funded through Virginia’s Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) set aside. 

Funding Criteria 

a) The strategic grant initiative will match up to $500 that a qualifying small business pays directly to a new employee hired after May 31,2021, with a maximum of 25 new hires per employer. 

b) Employer must match the full amount and provide funds directly to new hires. This can be in either one lump sum or in installments to cover the ongoing costs of childcare, transportation, or other barriers to re-employment. Verification of how funds are used by the new hire is not required. 

c) Qualifying small childcare businesses, who may be facing particularly challenging workforce shortages, may qualify for up to $500 per new hire without the requirement to match. 

d) Only employers with fewer than 100 employees across all Virginia locations may qualify for reimbursable funds. The employment facility where new hires will be placed must be in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the employer must also be incorporated in Virginia. 

e) Wages for new hires must be a minimum of $15.00 per hour. The position must be W-2 employment but can be part- or full-time. Funds may only be provided to new employees hired by the employer, and the individual hired must be currently unemployed (as attested by the individual). 

For the qualifying small business to be reimbursed, all forms and documentation must be completed, signed, and submitted with paid invoices to verify expenditures. 

If you have questions about your specific project, please contact Dave Kilgore at the email address shown below. Please email this signed Employer Agreement, including the excel spreadsheet and copies of paid invoices/receipts, to 

The Virginia Career Works - Piedmont Region is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. TDD-VA Relay: 711. Interpreters are available upon request. EO Officer | | 434.979.5610 


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