CHEYENNE – Governor Mark Gordon announced today that the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and the Wyoming Workforce Development Council (WWDC) are offering $300,000 in grants to support businesses in order to avert or shorten layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Wyoming. "I am working tirelessly to find and deploy tools to strengthen Wyoming businesses during these challenging times," said Governor Mark Gordon. "Wyoming’s Layoff Aversion grants provide some relief to businesses while keeping employees working."DWS and its 20 Workforce Centers will assist businesses with grant applications to support these important layoff aversion strategies for Wyoming’s economy. The application can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMovHClNR33-n8hrNpHDKKLwCzlwfRynx3gAGIbpIeoXB3GA/viewformMore information about options available to businesses can be found here: http://www.wyomingworkforce.org/businesses/covid19-layoff-aversion/.
"Wyomingites are creative and resilient, but sometimes we need a little financial assistance to get through the hard times," said DWS Director Robin Sessions Cooley. “I expect we will see employers come up with very innovative solutions through the Layoff Aversion grants."
The grants will be available to all eligible Wyoming businesses in good standing with Unemployment Insurance and Worker’s Compensation. Businesses can apply for up to $5,000 to support layoff aversion strategies that can keep their businesses open -- and employees working -- or shorten the duration of a layoff.
"Wyoming employers are the backbone of our great state, and we want to help employers continue to operate in this unprecedented time," said WWDC Chairman Jim Engel. "We encourage employers to identify innovative ways to continue doing business while observing social distancing and other guidelines."
Layoff Aversion grant funding may be used on a reimbursement basis as a result of the emergency declaration of March 13, 2020 for:
· Costs associated with frequent deep cleaning/sanitization services to help prevent potential exposure to COVID-19 when companies have to remain open
· Purchase of software or computer applications so employees can work from home/remotely in order to support social distancing and limit potential exposure and spread of COVID-19
· Funding to purchase necessary equipment needed to make social distancing possible
· Related costs to add additional shifts so companies can continue to operate
· Purchase of laptops and related expenses so employees can telework
Funding is intended to support Wyoming’s economy and vitality during the COVID-19 crisis. Funding will be paid out by DWS, as the fiscal agent. Grant funding should be reasonable and necessary for implementing layoff aversion strategies to assist Wyoming businesses.