FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Milissa Reierson
November 18, 2007
(615) 741-2257


GOVERNOR AWARDS HAMILTON CO. COMPANY JOB TRAINING GRANT
BUNGE OILS Awarded $50,000

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $50,000 to Bunge Oils in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Incumbent Worker Training grants assist existing employers with training needs associated with skills upgrades for their employees.  Over the past three years, Incumbent Worker Training grants have totaled more than $5.7 million to assist more than 22,000 employees.

"It is vital for employers to continually train and upgrade the skills of their existing workforce to keep Tennessee economically competitive," said Governor Bredesen.  "This program provides funds for retraining employees to help Tennessee businesses become more productive and the skills of their employees even more valuable."

"I am proud to award this grant money to keep area workers on the job," said Commissioner Neeley.  "Bunge Oils will use the grant to train employees in lean concepts of waste reduction.  They anticipate the training will save jobs and improve short and long term wage levels of employees."

“I am pleased Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley have awarded the Incumbent Worker grant to Bunge Oils,” said Representative Tommie Brown.

The Southeast Tennessee Development District played a key role in awarding the grant to Bunge Oils.

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 in operation in Tennessee for at least one year prior to application date.  Employers must 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.

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