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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
DECEMBER 29, 2005
(615) 741-2257 (O)
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(615) 419-2068 (C)


Governor Awards Gibson County Company Job Training Grant
Conagra Foods Awarded $19,750

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $19,750 to Conagra Foods. This Incumbent Worker Training Grant is one of many to be awarded to help Tennessee companies avoid downsizing and keep jobs in the state. More than $1 million in Incumbent Worker Training Grants was awarded in fiscal year 2004-2005 benefiting more than 6,000 Tennessee workers.

“The Incumbent Worker Training Grants are essential to help Tennessee’s workers look to the future with job growth and stability,” said Governor Bredesen. “Conagra Foods is an excellent employer in the area. This grant will help keep Conagra 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. "This company in Humboldt Tennessee has met comprehensive criteria to qualify for this grant. I am proud to award this grant money to keep area workers on the job."

“I commend Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley for awarding the Incumbent Worker grant to Conagra Foods,” said Senator Don McLeary.” This will help keep Gibson County workers employed and help improve our economy.”

Representative Chris Crider also represents the area.

Dyersburg State Community College played a key role in awarding the grant to Conagra Foods.

 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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