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MARCH 18, 2008
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CHATTANOOGA Awarded $50,000

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $50,000 to the Sheet Metal Workers’ Joint Apprentice Training Chattanooga.  Thirty five Apprentices will be trained in welding, radiation, sheet metal industry mathematics and OSHA safety procedures. 

"It is vital to continually train and upgrade the skills of Tennessee’s existing workforce to keep our state economically competitive," said Governor Bredesen. "Apprenticeship training grants are valuable resources to help meet the demands for skilled labor in Tennessee and help businesses become more productive.”

"I am proud to award this grant money for sheet metal workers’ joint apprentice training," said Commissioner Neeley.  "In the last five years the Workforce Development Division has awarded more than $8.1 million to train close to 32,000 workers across the state."

“I commend the Governor and Commissioner for helping local unions with training grants,” said Senator Andy Berke. “This type of grant is an integral part of the Governor’s special emphasis on job development in our state.”

“Training grants keep companies competitive and profitable,” said Representative Joanne Favors.  “I applaud the Governor for awarding this grant for apprenticeship training and helping to improve our economy.”

The Southeast Tennessee Development District played a key role in awarding the grant to the Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprentice Training program.


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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