Employee Training Incentive Program

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The Employee Training Incentive Program provides refundable tax credits to New York State employers for skills training that upgrades or improves the productivity of their employees. Businesses can also receive tax credits for approved internship programs that provide training in advanced technology, life sciences, software development or clean energy.  

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Tax credits may be awarded for costs associated with an eligible training program for current or new employees. The internship program is available for current students, recent graduates and recent members of the armed forces. Tax credits may be issued only after approved training is completed.

  • Employee Training Incentive Program: a credit of 50% of eligible training costs, up to $10,000 per employee receiving eligible training.
  • Internship Program: a credit of 50% of the stipend paid to an intern, up to $3,000 per intern.
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A business entity must submit an ETIP Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)  to be evaluated by the Empire State Development tax incentives department.  .  If the Employee Training Incentive Program is deemed appropriate for the project, the applicant will be notified accordingly, and a certificate of conditional eligibility will be issued. The applicant must receive approval for participation into the program prior to the commencement of eligible training or retaining interns. 

A Final Application must be submitted after the approved training is completed and no later than 24 months from the date of the certificate of conditional eligibility.

Employee Skills Training

Businesses must make a significant capital investment resulting in a benefit-cost ratio of at least 10:1 in relation to the eligible training project. Businesses must operate predominantly in a strategic industry based upon the following criteria:

  • Potential to create jobs in an economically distressed area
  • Shortages of workers trained to work in that industry
  • Ability and need to relocate to another state to find qualified workers
  • Potential to recruit minorities and women to be trained to work in an industry where they are traditionally underrepresented
  • Recent technological advances have created disruption in the industry and significant capital investment is needed to remain competitive

Internship Program

An eligible internship program must provide training in advanced technology, life sciences, software development or clean energy.

Advanced technology means the research, development and manufacturing of goods and their applications in the areas of advanced materials and processing technologies, integrated electronics, optics, biotechnology, information and communication technologies, automation and robotics, electronics packaging, imaging technology, remanufacturing, and other such areas as the commissioner shall determine.

Life Sciences means agricultural biotechnology, biogenerics, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, biopharmaceuticals, academic medical centers, biotechnology, chemical synthesis, chemistry technology, medical diagnostics, genomics, medical image analysis, marine biology, medical devices, medical nanotechnology, natural product pharmaceuticals, proteomics, regenerative medicine, RNA interference, stem cell research, medical and neurological clinical trials, health robotics and veterinary science.  

Software development means firms engaged in the creation of coded computer instruction.

Clean energy means sources of energy which are capable of being continually restored by natural or other means or are so large as to be useable for centuries without significant depletion and include but are not limited to solar, wind, plant and forest products, wastes, tidal, hydro, geothermal, deuterium, and hydrogen.  Fossil fuels are excluded. 

Training can be provided to interns who have not previously participated in an eligible internship program, and who are not current or former employees of the business. The business entity must have fewer than 100 employees, and interns cannot displace regular employees. Participation in the internship program cannot last longer than 12 months.

Ineligible Activities/Industries

Training designed to train or upgrade skills as required by a federal or state entity, training that may result in the awarding of a license or certificate required by law in order to perform a job function, and culturally focused training are not eligible for tax credits under the program.

The following types of businesses are also prohibited from participating in the program:

  • Accounting firms
  • Businesses engaged in the generation or distribution of electricity, the distribution of natural gas, or the production of steam associated with the generation of electricity
  • Businesses providing business administrative or support services
  • Businesses providing personal services
  • Businesses providing utilities
  • Finance and financial services retail and wholesale businesses
  • Hospitality
  • Law firms
  • Medical or dental practices
  • Real estate brokers
  • Real estate management companies
  • Restaurants