Incumbent Worker Training Program

ANNOUNCEMENT effective 10/10/2017: On November 3, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., a public hearing will be held in the Lewis Room (basement conference room) at the Walt Sullivan Building, 1315 E. Lockey Avenue, Helena, Montana, to consider the matter of the adoption of NEW RULES I through IX and the repeal of ARM 24.22.301, 24.22.304, 24.22.307, 24.22.311, 24.22.316, and 24.22.321 pertaining to the incumbent worker training program.

The proposed changes are based on 53-2-1215-1220, MCA.

Public Comment will be accepted per MAR Notice No. 24-22-324. Once the public comment period has closed, all comments will be addressed.

IWT will begin accepting applications after the public comments are addressed and the Rules and Policy are adopted per the Secretary of State’s publication at that time.

Flexible solutions for your business needs

Incumbent Worker Training 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.

Grant Amounts

Grant caps are tiered, based on the number of hours an eligible employee works:

  • 20-34 hours a week year round $1000
  • 35+ hours a week year round $2000

Match Requirements

IWT requires the applicant to match grant dollars:

  • 20% of training costs;
  • 20% of in-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training; and
  • 50% of out-of-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training

Any 20% match may be met in kind using wages paid while in training and travel status, except for sole proprietors.

Grant Funding Disbursement

IWT is a reimbursement program. By law, funding may not be released to grantees until the Department receives:

  • Proof of payment issued by the trainer (i.e. a receipt);
  • Receipts for other approved costs; and
  • Proof of completion issued by the trainer.

Qualifying Businesses

  • In operation in Montana at least one year
  • No more than 50 employees statewide
  • Must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office as a(n): Association, Corporation, LLC, Partnership, or Sole Proprietor.* Some exceptions apply
  • Have a need for upgrading the skills of their employees as a way to remain competitive in their industry or the economy
  • Can meet the match requirements

Qualifying Employees

  • Are permanent
  • Work at least six months for the business
  • Work an average of at least 20 hours a week year round

Qualifying Training

Training should be short-term in nature (completed within 365 days), and must be either:

  • Skills-based training: training a new task or a new way of performing an old task; or
  • Certified education: resulting in an industry-recognized credential or is offered through Montana's two-year college and university system.

Conferences and training affiliated with conferences will not be funded.

Qualifying Costs

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.

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.

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

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 you and your business. Allow up to two business days for your registration to be set up.

Submitted applications are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Applications must be submitted at least two weeks before the training start date. Applications must be approved before training begins.

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.

Partner Agencies

The Department collaborates with several organizations who may be able to assist you in other needs.

Contact Information

Chris Ferguson, 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