Dawson Community College is partnering with BEAR (Business Expansion And Retention) and SBDC (Small Business Development Center to facilitate the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Based on the success of the two-year pilot program approved by the 2007 Legislature, this program will provide job training funds for small businesses to re-train workers to meet changing market demands.
Small business owners can call MaryAnn Vester DCC Outreach Coordinator (377-9409) to sign up. “This is a tremendous opportunity for small business owners to train their current employees at little to no cost to the employer” said MaryAnn. “DCC can provide hands on, specialized training working with the employee to update their skills”.
“The upgrading of employees skills is critical during this economic recovery; this program provides employers and employees alike a much needed tool,” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “The Incumbent Worker Training Program is a good way to help prevent unemployment and layoffs by developing the capacity of those who are still working.”
“I am very grateful for this program,” said Alicia Moe, Co-Owner and General Manager of Cream of the West in Harlowton. “I was in dire need of marketing training, and this program was essential in helping me afford to participate in professional trainings and get the skills I need. I’ve used the newly acquired marketing skills to open up new markets for some of our products. For example, the expansion of “Montana Crunch” markets is directly connected to a training called Eureka! Winning Ways sponsored by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center. I’ve also learned the positive impact of highlighting healthy, Montana-made products.”
The Incumbent Worker Training Program can pay up to $2,000 dollars each year for tuition, fees, books and related training costs per full-time employee, while part-time employees can receive up to $1000 dollars per year. The small business employer must match the grant at 25%.
“Participating in the Incumbent Worker Training Program is a smart business decision, especially with the economy the way it is.” said Denise Bassett, Co-Owner of Big Bear Electric in Livingston. “This program helped us re-train our workers to keep up with green and energy saving technology changes in our industry.”
To be eligible, small businesses must have been in business in Montana for at least a year and be duly registered as a business with the Secretary of State. The employer must have no more than 20 employees in one location, and no more than 50 statewide. Eligibility can be determined by local Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) teams, local Small Business Development Councils and the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at MSU Bozeman. Businesses who are interested but have no direct contact with these business support and education entities can contact their local Job Service office for more information.
MaryAnn Vester, DCC’s Director of Outreach, can also be reached on the web at dawson.edu.