News: WALHDAB News

Workplace Wellness Update - Funds Available October 1st

Thursday, September 24, 2015  
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In the 2013-14 legislative session, WALHDAB was successful in passing the Healthy Jobs Act. As you know, the legislation created a workplace wellness grant program that was specifically designed to encourage small employers to invest in employee wellness initiatives.

Under the new law, businesses with 50 or fewer employees that implement a wellness program are eligible for a grant equal to 30% of the cost of implementing the program. The grant program is administered by the state Department of Health Services (DHS) and will provide $3 million per year for five years for eligible small businesses.

Rules written by DHS to implement the program were officially adopted on August 28, 2015. The anticipated effective date of the new program is October 1, 2015. In other words, beginning Oct. 1, small businesses in communities across the state will have the opportunity to apply for grant funds.   ‘

While the grant funding will soon be available, educating local businesses about the program and the opportunities it provides is a challenge in itself. That's where Local Health Departments (LHDs) can play an important role. It presents a fantastic opportunity for LHDs to connect with the business community and promote the grant program at the local level. In fact, LHDs may even want to consider providing workplace wellness services to small businesses that eventually apply for the grant, which could provide a new revenue stream for LHDs across the state.

For more information on the grant program, please visit the WI Department of Health Services website (where the grant application will soon be posted). In addition, please feel free to review the new law (2013 Act 137) and a brief memo outlining the provisions of the law.

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