Department Of Labor Awards Training Grant To South Pittsburg Company

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips have awarded $25,000 to Lodge Manufacturing in South Pittsburg. The grant will provide 23 Lodge Manufacturing employees with training in casting defect analysis, robot training, inventory management, and import/export purchasing.

“Incumbent worker grants provide critical training and education to employees across the state in the continued effort to have a workforce that meets current marketplace demands,” said Governor Haslam. 

“In 2014, we will give $750,000 to 37 companies throughout the state,” said Commissioner Phillips.  “As a result 1,316 workers will benefit from the training these grants are providing.” Since the program’s inception, Incumbent Worker Training grants have assisted more than 650 businesses by providing $15 million to train approximately 52,000 employees.

The following criteriamust be met to qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Employersmust be in 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.

In their application for the grant, Lodge Manufacturing stated this grant would help to further pursue an overall upgrade of manufacturing processes to include highly technical applications and hardware. The grant will ensure that the current workforce is able to perform at the level necessary to produce quality products, while at the same time provideopportunities to upgrade employee skill sets.

“I would like to thank Governor Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Labor for offering this training grant to the workers of Marion County,” said Senator Janice Bowling. 

“This is a prime example of a partnership where the public sector is investing in the private sector to help it stay competitive,” said Representative Billy Spivey.

The Southeast Tennessee Development District played a key role in awarding the grant to Lodge Manufacturing.

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.

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