NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $49,999 to Graphic Packaging International Inc. in Gordonsville for incumbent worker training. More than $3 million in Incumbent Worker Training Grants was awarded in fiscal year 2005-06 benefiting almost 15,000 Tennessee workers who retained their jobs and received skill upgrades.
“The Incumbent Worker Training Grants are essential to help Tennessee’s workers look to the future with job growth and stability,” said Governor Bredesen. “This grant will help keep this company competitive and increase the skills of their talented employees.”
"The Incumbent Worker Training Program provides grant funding for customized training for existing businesses," said Commissioner Neeley. "Graphic Packaging International in Gordonsville has met comprehensive criteria to qualify for these grants. I am proud to award this grant money to keep area workers on the job."
“I praise Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley for awarding the Incumbent Worker grant to Graphic Packaging,” said Representative Frank Buck. “This will help keep Smith County workers employed and help improve our economy.”
The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency played a key role in awarding the grant to Graphic Packaging International Inc.
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.
The following criteria must be met to qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Employers must be operation in Tennessee for at least one year prior to application date. Employers must have at least one full-time employee, 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.