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Incumbent Worker Grant

North Carolina’s Incumbent Workforce Development Program under the federal Workforce Investment Act broadens the scope of the state’s existing incumbent worker initiative. An Incumbent Worker is an employed individual who is served with statewide Workforce Investment Act funds. The Program provides funding to established North Carolina businesses to provide educational and skills training for current workers. It is designed to benefit businesses by enhancing the skills of employees, thereby increasing employee productivity and the potential for company growth. Training in portable skills results in a more highly skilled and versatile workforce that contributes to North Carolina’s ability to attract new business and creates an environment conducive to expansion.

Application Qualification Eligibility


Applications for the Incumbent Workforce Development Program are open to all companies conducting business in North Carolina meeting the guidelines listed below. A business applying for funding:

  • Must be private for-profit or private not-for-profit business

  • Must have been in operation in the State of North Carolina during the entire twelve month period immediately preceding the date of application

  • Must be current on all North Carolina tax obligations

  • Must be current on all applicable county, city, and local taxes

  • Must propose training for employees at a North Carolina facility

Project Structure


Training activities under the Incumbent Workforce Development Program include the following:


  • Occupational skills training designed to meet the special requirements of a business or a group of businesses, and is conducted with employer commitment to continue to employ all trained individuals upon successful completion of the training.

  • Educational training including workplace literacy, basic skills, soft skills, and English as a second language. An applicant must demonstrate the effect of the training on business operations and identify the transferable skills acquired by employees.


Employers who have participated:

  • American Roller Bearing

  • Baker Furniture

  • Baker Knapp & Tubbs

  • BSN Medical, Inc.

  • Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc.

  • Carolina Silver

  • Carolina Specialty Tools, Inc

  • Concept Frames, Inc.

  • Cox Manufacturing Company, Inc.

  • Draka Comteq

  • Duralee Fine Furniture

  • E.J. Victor, Inc.

  • Grasche USA, Inc.

  • Hanes Companies

  • Hickory Chair

  • Hickory Construction Company

  • Home Fashions International, LLC

  • James Tool Machine & Engineering, Inc.

  • Kellex

  • Leviton Manufacturing Company

  • Marves Industrial, LLC

  • Mohawk Finishing Products

  • Piedmont Fiberglass

  • Plastic Packaging, Inc.

  • PolyChem Alloy, Inc. (PCA)

  • Roll-Tech, LLC

  • Schneider Mills & Composite Fabrics of America

  • Shuford Yarns, LLC

  • Shurtape Technologies, LLC

  • Sypris Technologies

  • Toner Machining Technologies

  • The Marlin Company, Inc.

Program Outcomes


  • Employee Related Outcomes:

    • Increases skill level of trained workers

    • Increases wage level of trained workers

  • Employer Related Outcomes:

    • Averts a layoff

    • Lowers employee turnover

    • Increases the profitability of the business

    • Enhances the competitiveness of the business

    • Avoids business relocation or consolidation that results in a loss of local jobs

    • Maximum funding for any project is $10,000. There is a lifetime maximum of $60,000 per business entity.

Reimbursement Training Costs

  • Instructors’/trainers’ salaries—trainers must not be employed by the applicant business to receive reimbursements

  • Tuition

  • Training materials and supplies

  • Textbooks/manuals—limited to course of study

  • Training certifications, certificates, licenses, and credentials must be described if associated cost is in the budget

  • Travel for trainers—if requested training is not available within reasonable proximity to the business

  • Training related software—limited to 5% of the total grant award and must be necessary for the training request

  • WorkKeys assessment to the extent that it leads to primary training

The NC Incumbent Worker Guidelines and Application.
Submission Deadline is March 16, 2016.


Matthew Xiong

Business Services Consultant

828.485.4215 |

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