Has your company struggled to provide learning and development opportunities for new supervisors and front-line managers due to the cost of the training programs? Have you had difficulty retaining supervisors because competitors were offering more opportunities for skill advancement? If so, you’re not alone. Training a workforce on a limited budget is a task that often seems out of reach or too time-consuming.
However, for labor-dependent companies in skilled trades industries, training supervisors is vital to the success of your business. After all, a company is only as strong as its workforce, and it’s the company’s responsibility to provide the training their workers need to succeed.
Fortunately, there are federally-funded programs in place that can help your company provide supervisor skills training on a budget. The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Grant Program is one program that provides grant money to companies that need to offset their training costs. Unfortunately, these grants often go unused because companies don’t know they exist, or, don’t know how to access them.
What is Incumbent Worker Training?
The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program is intended to help a company prepare its workforce by providing skills upgrade and improvement training opportunities. In practice, it enables the workforce to compete more effectively and helps companies retain skilled workers by providing ongoing development opportunities. Incumbent workers are defined as:
Those who are employed but need training to upgrade their skills in order to advance in their careers or gain full-time employment
Those who want to retain their current job position in H-1B occupation and industries
Newly hired workers
Workers whose hours have been reduced or earnings have declined
Those who are working toward being a supervisor
Training helps to maximize efficiency in the workplace while providing more opportunities to your valued workers and supervisors. It is particularly important for workers lower on the pay scale who lack the skillset for advancement in the workplace. In the case of supervisors (or those looking to become supervisors), training is essential in order to gain people skills, communication skills, and leadership skills that will enable them to be good in a management position.
How Can I Offset Costs for Supervisor Training?
The Incumbent Work Training Grant Program is funded federally and is administered by states.
It is available in all 50 US states. Every state is different in how they administer programs, so the process will vary depending on where you are located. AEU LEAD can help you uncover the cost savings that are available through your state programs, enabling you to provide better training at a lower cost.
What’s the Criteria for the Incumbent Work Training Grant Program?
Your company must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Grant Program.
Eligibility. This program is available for companies who are searching to train incumbent workers: any workers who need additional training in order to advance in their career, remain in the workplace, or gain the necessary skills for their job placement. This program is available to the unemployed or underemployed as well.
Deadline. Those wishing to take part in this program must meet certain deadlines, all outlined in the US Department of Labor’s guidelines. If deadlines are not met, the grant will not be funded.
Completed Registration. To receive statewide grant funding, a company looking for supervisor training through the Incumbent Worker Training Grant Program must complete all necessary registration.
Budget. A budget must be provided by the company outlining the costs that will need to be covered by the received grant. This budget must be approved by the program.
Where Do I Start Building Supervisor Skills?
You can start by partnering with AEU LEAD! At AEU LEAD, we primarily work with companies in skilled trade industries, providing supervisors, foremen, and lead personnel with the people-oriented skills required for success in front-line leadership roles. We provide training and development around critical leadership skills, coaching and mentoring, and change management.
In addition to offering training, we can also help companies navigate the IWT state-specific application process. We want to ensure that cost is not a barrier preventing supervisors and workers from receiving the necessary skills.
At AEU LEAD, we work hard to understand the specific challenges you face, the training that is necessary, and the numerous costs that all pile up. With your company in mind, the AEU LEAD team will develop the ideal training program for your company’s needs and budget. We offer a tailored approach and teach real, practical skills. There’s no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach here.
To learn more or to get started with the IWT application process, contact us. We have a lot of experience with the program and will be more than glad to help.