NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded $124,400 in Incumbent Worker grants to four companies in Putnam County to avoid downsizing and keep jobs in the area. The companies receiving the grants are Fleetguard Inc. with $49,732, Tutco Inc. receiving $42,265, Phoenix USA Inc. getting $23,115 and Premier Diagnostic Imaging LLC receiving $9,306.
“The Incumbent Worker Training Grants are essential to help Tennessee’s workers look to the future with job growth and stability,” said Governor Bredesen. “These four companies are major employers in the area. The grants will help keep the companies 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. "These companies in Putnam County have met comprehensive criteria to qualify for these grants. I am proud to award this grant money to keep area workers on the job."
“I praise Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neeley for awarding the Incumbent Worker grants to our Putnam County employers and employees,” said Senator Charlotte Burks. “This will help keep Putnam 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 Representative Jere Hargrove. “Governor Bredesen and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development are doing their best to help companies remain competitive and keep workers on the job.”
Representative Charles Curtiss said, “The governor and Commissioner Neeley are working hard to improve the lives of Putnam county workers and employers. I commend them for awarding these companies the Incumbent Worker grants.”
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 Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency also contributed in awarding the grants to the Putnam County companies.