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Incumbent Worker Training Program



  • The purpose of the Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Program is to support training that results in either:
    1. Layoff Aversion through skill attainment for employees (training component # 1), or
    2. Layoff Aversion through process improvement (training component #2) that contributes to the competitiveness and productivity of a business.

  • Tennessee for-profit and (not-for-profit health care related only) businesses that have been in operation for a minimum of one year prior to the application date, employ at least five full-time employees, are current on all federal and state tax obligations, and are financially viable are eligible to apply.

  • IWT funds are limited, and are therefore awarded in a competitive bid process. The maximum award is $25,000 per grant, with a funding limit of $50,000. Once a company has reached its funding limit with two or more grants in consecutive program years (beginning program year 2011-2012), it must layout for one year before it can reapply for another grant. As an example: if company A is awarded a $20,000 grant in 2011-2012, and a $15,000 grant in 2012-2013, and a $15,000 grant in 2013-2014 it would have to skip the following year before being able to reapply.

  • The IWT is cooperatively administered through the state’s Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) and the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Division of Workforce Services.  Applications are submitted from the companies directly to a LWIA that serves the County were the applicant resides. The LWIA may request additional information or establish supplemental provisions and requirements for the training projects.

  • Funding for Incumbent Worker Training Grants will be allocated through a competitive bid process.

  • LWIA’s may begin to process grant applications between September 16, 2013 and November 15, 2013.

  • During this submission period LWIA’s will evaluate and score submitted applications. The LWIA will submit approved applications with a letter of support to the TDLWD, Workforce Services Division by November 29, 2013 to be reviewed and scored by a Department Review Committee.

  • The Department Review Committee will make final decisions on approved grants to be awarded by December 13, 2013.

  • Approved awards will be sent to the Commissioner’s office with recommendations for approval.

  • Upon approval (signature) from the Commissioner, LWIA’s will be advised and letters of approval will be sent to the LWIA’s and the grantee.

  • LWIA’s will contract for training with a start date of no earlier than January 1, 2014 and end dates of December 31, 2014.

  • If there are funds still available that were not awarded in the initial application period, another round of funding could be offered. The Division of Workforce Services, Incumbent Worker Training Unit will make that determination and will send out guidelines for submissions of applications.

If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the application, please contact your local workforce area or:

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Patrick Bleecker
Grants Program Manager
(615) 253-1330