FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
NOVEMBER 8, 2005
(615) 741-2257 (O)
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(615) 308-3705 (C)


Governor Awards Sullivan County Company Job Training Grant
Tele-Optics Inc. Awarded $49,914

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $49,914 to Tele-Optics Inc. 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. “Tele-Optics Inc. is a major employers in the area. This grant will help keep Tele-Optics Inc. 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 Kingsport 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 commend Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley for awarding the Incumbent Worker grants to Tele-Optics Inc.,” said Representative Nathan Vaughn. “This will help keep Sullivan County workers employed and help improve our economy.”

“The Incumbent Worker grants are a wonderful tool for companies to train their workers in the latest technology and production skills,” said Senator Ron Ramsey.

Representatives Jason Mumpower and and Steve Godsey also represent Sullivan County.

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 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.

The Alliance for Business and Training also contributed in awarding the grant to Tele-Optics Inc.

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