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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
OCTOBER 24, 2005
(615) 741-2257 (O)
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(615) 308-3705 (C)


Governor Awards Maury County Company Job Training Grant
UCAR Carbon Company in Columbia Awarded $10,464

NASHVILLE – Gov. Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $10,464 to UCAR Carbon Company in Columbia. 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. “UCAR Carbon Company is a major employer in Maury County. This grant will help keep UCAR Carbon 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. "UCAR Carbon has met comprehensive criteria to qualify for the grant. I am proud to award this grant money to keep area workers on the job."

The South Central Workforce Board played a key role in awarding the grant to the companies in their eight-county area. "Since 2003, we have worked to award more than $500,000 in Incumbent Worker Grants to 15 companies in our counties,” said Executive Director Jan McKeel. “Without a doubt, this partnership between the state, our organization, and the private sector contributes to the successful longevity of these companies and the continued growth and employment of our citizens."

“I thank Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley for awarding the Incumbent Worker grants to UCAR Carbon,” said Senator Bill Ketron. ”This will help keep Maury County workers employed and help improve our economy.”

Representative Tom Dubois and Representative John Charles Tidwell also represent Maury 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.

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