News
Date:February 18, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

More Than 2,300 Workers to Upgrade Skills with Incumbent Worker Training Program
Twenty-one businesses statewide awarded grants in December, January

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission today announced that it approved more than $2.7 million in Incumbent Worker Training Program grants during December and January to train more than 2,300 employees at 21 businesses.

Industries include aluminum fabrication, engineering, oilfield services, food-service equipment manufacturing and nursing. The employees will be trained by providers such as LSU Alexandria Continuing Education, Safety Compliance Services, Inc., Louisiana Delta Community College, LSU - Shreveport, L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College and PEC Premier.

“In approving these grants, we considered one of the primary objectives of the IWTP, which is to create training opportunities in high-demand, high-growth industries,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “While this makes the application process more competitive, we believe it also ensures we are aligning available resources with our workforce development priorities to make sure the expenditures have the maximum impact on our job market and our economy.”

The IWTP is a partnership of the LWC, business and industry, and training providers that is designed to improve the skills of existing employees to increase their productivity and support business growth.

To be eligible to apply for IWTP customized training grants, employers must have been in business in Louisiana for at least three years, contributing and in full compliance with state unemployment insurance tax laws. Employers must have at least 15 employees to be trained, and these must be incumbent workers for whom the employer incurs a Louisiana UI tax liability. Employers with less than 15 employees to be trained can form a consortium to meet this requirement.

In addition to customized training, businesses with 50 or fewer employees also have the option of Small Business Employee Training, which provides individual, standardized training for incumbent employees. The SBET grant can be used for tuition and required textbooks and manuals, not to exceed $3,000 per employee each fiscal year.

Since its inception in 1997, the IWTP has provided more than $365 million for training. This represents customized training for more than 297,000 workers. The SBET program has awarded more than $7 million for off-the-shelf training for more than 12,000 workers.

For more information on IWTP and a complete listing of the most recent grant recipients, visit http://www.laworks.net/WorkforceDev/IWTP/IWTP_MainMenu.asp.

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