Manufacturing Employee Retention Program for Kent Businesses & Residents

Kent Manufacturers Can Receive $2,200 per Employee Until November 1, 2020

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Kent Valley Economic Development, City of Kent, Port of Seattle, and Green River College have partnered to support Kent manufacturers and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Manufacturing Employee Retention Program (MERP).

This program is designed to help manufacturers impacted by the COVID-19 business closures and interruptions support for reopening and obtain supports to ensure their businesses remain competitive and employees receive training in safe work conditions while offering incentive to retain existing entry-level employees, hiring new workers, or rehiring those who were furloughed.

Eligible manufacturers can receive up to $2,200 per employee in wage reimbursement through October 31, 2020. Each company can receive funding for 10 or less employees.

Below are the MERP guidelines and eligibility requirements. There is no deadline to apply however funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Participant Eligibility:

  • US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US
  • “Entry level”: Eligible employees must be “entry level” (lowest 25% of wage earners at company) who have been retained during COVID, rehired after a brief layoff, or newly hired by the company.
  • Eligible employees must be Kent residents OR work at a manufacturing facility located in the City of Kent.
  • Employer must have 500 of fewer employees company wide to participate

Required documentation for reimbursement:

  • Employer must document at least 2 hours of COVID specific safety training for each participant before wages are reimbursed (a series of online workshops will be provided free by Green River College).
  • Employer must provide proof of wages paid in order to receive reimbursement.

Contact Information:

Shannon Matson | 206-764-5328 |

AJAC also has limited resources to provide wage reimbursement payments (between $1,800 and $2,200 per employee) for King and Pierce County manufacturing employers outside of the City of Kent who have recently hired (or are planning to hire) entry-level workers, and/or connect front line workers to apprenticeship training. Please complete the application or contact Shannon Matson if you are interested in these opportunities.

This project was supported by a grant awarded by US Department of the Treasury.  Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of the Treasury. Grant funds are administered by the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund thru the Washington State Department of Commerce.

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