The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and the Wyoming Workforce Development Council are offering $300,000 in "layoff aversion grants" to support businesses in order to avert or shorten layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Friday.

"Wyoming’s Layoff Aversion grants provide some relief to businesses while keeping employees working," Gordon said in a prepared statement.

The Department of Workforce Services and its 20 centers will assist businesses with grant applications.

More information about options available to businesses can be found here.

"Wyomingites are creative and resilient, but sometimes we need a little financial assistance to get through the hard times," Workforce Services Director Robin Sessions Cooley said. “I expect we will see employers come up with very innovative solutions through the Layoff Aversion grants."

Funding will be paid out by the Department of Workforce Services, as the fiscal agent.

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 help 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," Wyoming Workforce Development Council Chairman Jim Engel said. "We encourage employers to identify innovative ways to continue doing business while observing social distancing and other guidelines."

The grant funding may be used on a reimbursement basis as a result of the emergency declaration by Gordon on March 13 -- and revised on Friday -- 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 laptop computers and related expenses so employees can telework.
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