Fond du Lac County Worker Relocation Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions
What is it?
In a collaborative effort to address imminent workforce shortages, Envision Greater Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, and Fond du Lac County Capital Resources (FCCR) have come together to develop a county-wide workforce attraction and retention tool for employers to utilize across Fond du Lac County, known as the Worker Relocation Incentive Program. Inspired by other communities across the country, this is the first program of its kind within the State of Wisconsin!
Why is this needed?
We recognize Fond du Lac County is experiencing an extreme workforce shortage, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in 10 years, 25% of Fond du Lac County’s population will be over the age of 65 and 34,000+ individuals will transition into retirement. This requires innovative programming now to plan for our county’s future.
What businesses are eligible?
Any business, regardless of size and industry, located within Fond du Lac County is eligible to apply for an incentive reimbursement. The business must apply and be approved prior to offering the incentive to the prospective employee. Local Governmental entities (i.e. county and municipalities) are disqualified from participating in the program.
What is the incentive amount?
The program provides businesses with the ability to offer prospective hires an incentive ranging up to $15,000* with the ability to receive 50% reimbursement (maximum of $7,500) of the incentive amount when the employee successfully completes 12 months of concurrent residency and employment in Fond du Lac County with the same employer. The reimbursement is contingent upon meeting worker, employer and reporting requirements stated within the application paperwork.
*Employers may opt to internally offer an incentive above the $15,000 amount; however, the maximum reimbursement will be no more than $7,500 per worker.
What individuals/workers are eligible?
Prospective employees must move to Fond du Lac County from a minimum of 100 miles outside of Fond du Lac County, be hired for a full-time role with a Fond du Lac County employer, be at least 18 years of age, and be eligible to work in the United States.
A few additional stipulations are explained within the Fond du Lac County Worker Relocation Incentive document attached.
How does a business apply for an incentive and when are they available?
Employer applications for the incentive will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. This program has limited funding. Employer applications will be available on September 1, 2021.
The incentives are not offered on a retroactive basis. Employers can only offer the incentive to candidates who are offered and accept positions after September 1, 2021.
The employer must complete one employer application per candidate and be approved prior to offering the individual the incentive. The Envision Greater Fond du Lac Economic Development Team will review and approve/deny application requests within 24 business hours. Forms submitted after 12:00 pm Friday will be reviewed no later than 12:00 pm the following Monday. Exceptions, such as holidays, may apply.
Denials will be issued only in cases of incomplete documentation or lack of available funds. However, Envision Greater Fond du Lac’s Economic Development Team reserves the right to cap any one business’ access to the incentive funds available in order to prevent only a limited number of businesses benefiting. The goal of this program is to benefit as many Fond du Lac County businesses as possible, both small and large in size.
Local Governmental entities (i.e. county and municipalities) are disqualified from participating in the program.
If approved, the employer funds 100% of the incentive up-front* and will be eligible to submit for reimbursement following the worker’s 12-month period of continuous, concurrent residency, and employment in Fond du Lac County. The employer is responsible for documenting and initiating the request for reimbursement at the end of the 12-month period.
Fond du Lac County Capital Resources will reimburse 50% of the incentive, given that the employer provides all required documentation and 12 months continued and concurrent residency and employment is met.
*Employers have freedom to determine if they will pay 100% of the incentive up-front or pay it in installments to their new worker. Regardless, the employer is only eligible to submit for reimbursement following the worker’s 12-month period of continuous, concurrent residency, and employment in Fond du Lac County.
When will a business know if their incentive application has been approved?
Employer applications for incentives and all paperwork will be submitted and reviewed by an Envision Greater Fond du Lac Economic Development Team member. Envision Greater Fond du Lac’s Economic Development Team will review and approve/deny all employer applications within 24 business hours. Forms submitted after 12:00 pm Friday will be reviewed no later than 12:00 p.m. the following Monday. Exceptions, such as holidays, may apply.
What is the funding source for these incentives?
The program was developed in partnership with Envision Greater Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, and Fond du Lac County Capital Resources. A portion of the funding source is from Fond du Lac County sales tax dollars. Fond du Lac County reserves the right to terminate its participation in the worker relocation incentive program after first providing a 30-day written notice to Envision Greater Fond du Lac, however, Fond du Lac County shall honor all approved applications existing at time of termination notice. Fond du Lac County funding participation is reviewed annually by the Fond du Lac County Finance Committee and subject to annual re-approval.
Are the incentives available for remote workers?
No, incentives are not available for remote workers at this time. Remote workers may be considered in later iterations of the program.
I am a small business owner and want to participate, but I might need assistance funding the incentive, is that possible?
Yes, we have a great option for you as a small business! We’ve created a low-interest (2.0%) loan for the business’ portion of the relocation incentive, up to $5,000. The small business pays off their half of the balance over the worker’s concurrent employment/residency 12-month period. More details can be found on page 6.
Who do I contact if I want to learn more?
Call the Economic Development Team at Envision Greater Fond du Lac to learn more at (920) 921-9500.