Participant Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive training through PRTEC’s RtW® grant, participants must fall under one of the following three categories:

  1. (1) long-term unemployed workers;
  2. (2) other unemployed workers; or,
  3. (3) incumbent workers.

At least 85% of the participants served by the project must be from category (1), and no more than 15% of the total participants served from categories (2) and (3). Definitions for each eligible participant category are provided below:

1)    Long-term unemployed workers: For the purposes of this grant, “long-term unemployed worker” is defined as an individual who has been unemployed for 27 consecutive weeks or more. Included in this definition are: individuals who have lost their job during or after the recent recession (commencing from December 1, 2007 forward) and have exhausted or nearly exhausted unemployment benefits (if they were eligible to receive such benefits); underemployed individuals who lost their job during or after the recent recession and have obtained only episodic, short-term, or part-time employment but have not yet reconnected with a full-time job commensurate with the individual’s level of education, skills, and previous wage or salary earned prior to the individual’s loss of permanent employment;

2)    Other unemployed workers: For the purposes of this grant, we define “other unemployed workers” as an individual who is without a job for fewer than 27 consecutive weeks (i.e. not long-term unemployed as referenced above), is not “underemployed” as defined above, and who wants and is available to work; and

3)    Incumbent workers: For the purposes of this grant, we define “incumbent workers” as an employed worker in need of skills upgrade to obtain a new job or retain a current job that is requiring new or different skills in an H-1B industry/occupation, and where training is developed with an employer or employer association to upgrade skills training. This definition includes newly hired workers and workers whose hours have been reduced and/or earnings have declined. An employed worker whose employer does not have a training agreement with PRTEC (where training is developed with an employer or employer association to upgrade skills training) is not eligible to be served under this grant.

Where possible, PRTEC will look forward to serving incumbent workers and will be requiring evidence on how private sector partners will work to backfill with long-term unemployed participants, job vacancies left by participating incumbent workers who have moved into higher-skill jobs.

Candidates to be served through this grant must be at least 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma or a GED, as well as some post-secondary education and/or work experience that would allow them to enter an H-1B occupation after completing the program. Candidates may already have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, but they do not necessarily have to possess these degrees to be eligible.

b) Veterans Priority for Participants

The Jobs for Veterans Act (Public Law 107-288) requires PRTEC to provide priority of service for veterans and spouses of certain veterans for the receipt of employment, training, and placement services in any job training program directly funded, in whole or in part, by DOL. The regulations implementing this priority of service can be found at 20 CFR part 1010. In circumstances where PRTEC must choose between two equally qualified candidates for a service, one of whom is a veteran or eligible spouse, the veterans priority of service provisions require that the grant recipient give the veteran or eligible spouse priority of service by first providing him or her that service. To obtain priority of service, a veteran or spouse must first meet the program’s eligibility requirements. PRTEC must comply with DOL guidance on veterans’ priority. ETA’s Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 10-09 (issued November 10, 2009) provides guidance on implementing priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses in all qualified job training programs funded in whole or in part by DOL. TEGL No. 10-09 is available at