Incumbent Worker Training Program

Flexible solutions for your business needs

Beginning July 1, 2015, applications for SFY16 funding must be submitted at

Paper applications will not be accepted.

The Incumbent Worker Training program is a program that provides grant funding to help eligible Montana small businesses purchase training for their existing (incumbent) workers. Its intent is to help preserve existing jobs for Montana residents. Training can be customized to meet specific needs.

Qualifying Businesses

Which Employees Qualify?

Permanent employees must work at least 20 hours a week on average and have completed their probationary period to qualify for grant funding.

Types Of Training That May Qualify

Training must be skill-based or result in a certificate or accreditation and improve productivity, efficiency, or wages in the worker’s existing job.

Training should be short-term (completed within 1 year) and the business must have a demonstrated need for the training as a way to remain competitive in their industry or the economy.

Conferences and training affiliated with conferences will not be funded.

Costs That May Qualify For Reimbursement

Grant funding may reimburse all or part of the costs of training eligible employees.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Tuition, registration, fees, and required materials. Asset purchases are not eligible.
  • Transportation required to attend training such as mileage or airfare.
  • Lodging required to attend training.

How To Apply

Effective July 1, 2015, applications must be submitted online. Access the applications at Montana Grants and Loans

If you are not already registered in the system, please register. Allow up to one business day for your registration to be set up.

Submitted applications are evaluated by economic development partners that make recommendations to the Department regarding funding requests. These partners are members of the Business Expansion and Retention teams, the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at MSU Bozeman, and the Small Business Development Centers sponsored by the Montana Department of Commerce. Contact your local Job Service Office to find out which partners serve your community.

Applications should be submitted at least two weeks before the training is scheduled. Each advocate organization meets to review applications on a different schedule, so please contact them to determine if additional time is needed.

Grant Funding Is Limited

Grant funding is allocated to the Department on a State Fiscal Year (July 1st – June 30th), and is available on a first come, first served basis.

The grant allows up to $2,000 per year per full-time employee, and up to $1,000 per year per permanent part-time employee.

Funding is allocated to the Department of Labor & Industry at the discretion of the Montana Legislature, and is not guaranteed.

Requirements If You Choose To Apply

Specific information about the training such as itemized costs, dates, and how the training will benefit both the business and the employees. Businesses must also be able to contribute the matching funds.

Contact Information

Chris Wilhelm, Program Manager
Workforce Services Division
Montana Department of Labor and Industry
1315 E Lockey | Helena, MT  59601
PO Box 1728 | Helena, MT  59624-1728
ph 406.444.3351 | fax 406.444.3037