(1) The employer that is seeking grant funding must pay for all training and associated expenses "up front," and then seek reimbursement from the department for eligible expenses after the training is completed.
(2) Grant funding may be used to purchase:
(a) skills-based training or certified education as outlined in ARM 24.22.327;
(b) required materials and supplies, as identified by the course syllabus or the trainer; and
(c) testing fees, but only if the test occurs within 90 days of the training completion date.
(3) Grant funding can reimburse the employer at a rate not to exceed:
(a) 80 percent for the cost of training paid to the training provider, and for associated required training expenses, such as books;
(b) 80 percent for in-state transportation and lodging costs reasonably incurred, if required to attend training; and
(c) 50 percent for out-of-state transportation and lodging costs reasonably incurred, if required to attend training.
(4) The unreimbursed portion of allowed training, travel, and lodging expenses that the employer pays for is referred to as "matching funds" or "the matching share." The matching share paid by the employer may include:
(a) the cost of tuition, fees for certified education, or the cost of skills-based training;
(b) the cost of educational materials, training supplies, or lab fees required for training;
(c) the cost of testing fees, but only if the tests are completed within 90 days of the date of training completion;
(d) in-state transportation and lodging costs required for training, calculated at the current state of Montana rate; and
(e) any costs incurred for training that are above the allowable grant cap.
(5) Wages, at the regular hourly rate, paid by the employer to an employee who is undergoing required training, for the time spent in training and in transit to and from the training site may be claimed as a credit for the matching share.
(a) Wages paid may not be credited as the matching share for any portion of out-of-state transportation and lodging costs paid by the employer.
(b) Sole proprietors may not use their own wages to meet the matching share requirements.