Tennessee Program To Retrain, Assists Workers To Keep Jobs
More Than 11,000 Jobs Saved Through Incumbent
Nashville, TN (CompNewsNetwork) - Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department
of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded more than $8.1
million in Incumbent Worker grants to 314 companies across Tennessee since 2003. As a
result of those grants, 31,998 workers have been trained, saving jobs and preventing
companies from downsizing or moving out of the state.
In his State of the State Address, Bredesen spoke of the importance of taking steps to
ensure the Tennessee economy continues to grow. Commissioner Neeley and the State
Workforce Investment Board have set aside $2 million in federal Workforce Investment Act
funds for fiscal year 2007-08 to support existing industry training through the Incumbent
“We continue to appropriate money to allow us to offer training to existing
Tennessee companies to avoid potential layoffs or relocation,” Bredesen said. “We are also
placing special emphasis on job development and retention in our more rural areas.”
Existing businesses and industry are the source of nearly 80 percent of new jobs and
capital investment in Tennessee. The Incumbent Worker Training Program provides grant
funding for all types of industries, large and small. The training is very specific,
from basic math skills, automated computer programming, and leadership principles to lean
“Since the beginning, Governor Bredesen has shown a commitment to Tennessee employers,"
said Commissioner Neeley. "The companies that have received these grants statewide
estimate they have saved 11,638 jobs, and in turn created 1,181 new jobs. It is
imperative that we support Tennessee workers and employers. I am proud to work for a
Governor who has honored his promises to keep jobs and create new jobs in Tennessee.”
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the Incumbent
Worker Training program. The program has been structured to be flexible to meet the
business's training objectives. The business may use public, private, or its own in-house
training provider based on the nature of the training.
To qualify for the program, employers must be operation in Tennessee for at least one
year prior to application date, have at least five full-time employees, demonstrate
financial viability and be current on all state tax obligations. Funding priority is given
to businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy and
represent a significant upgrade of skills.