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Initiative Overview


Upskill Western Piedmont, an initiative of the Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board (WPWDB), offers competitive training grants to businesses in addressing employees’ skill gaps, improving employee retention, helping stabilize the business, and increasing the competitiveness of the employee and business. Through this effort, businesses:


  • Improve Productivity and Increase Competitiveness

  • Retain Key Talent and Expertise

  • Reduce Employee Turnover


Grants of up to $10,000 may be awarded to eligible businesses in the Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board service region for training of their current workforce in areas including, but not limited to:


Matthew Xiong

Business Services Consultant


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  • Technical Training

  • Certifications

  • Leadership Development

  • Soft Skills

  • Professional Development


Funding is available for up to 12 months from the time of the award notification. Businesses may reapply in subsequent years. A lifetime maximum of $60,000 may be awarded to any individual business.


Focus and Priority will be given for the following areas:
1. Business and Employee development

  • Deployment of new technologies

  • Retention or diversification of business to strengthen competitive position

  • Advancing employee skills to foster career pathway

  • Retain critical talent

  • Process improvement to business operations

  • Averting layoffs

2. High Growth and In-demand Industry Sectors

  • Advance Manufacturing

  • Health Care and Allied Health

  • Biotechnology

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Information Technology

  • Hospitality

  • Professional or Business Services

Eligibility Requirements



  • Be a North Carolina for-profit or not-for-profit

  • Have operation(s) located in the Western Piedmont WDB service area

  • Has operated in the Western Piedmont WDB service area for the last 12 months

  • Has an employer-employee relationship with at least 5 employees

  • Be current on all federal, state, and local tax obligations

  • Meet non-federal share requirements



  • Be at least 18 years of age

  • Be a current employee of the business

  • Have established/documented employment with employer for 6 months or more prior to application

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a non-citizen whose status permits employment in the United States

Training Providers and Delivery Methods
Businesses select their training provider of choice. WPWDB may provide training provider recommendations and resources for business to evaluate.


Deliver methods may include classroom instruction (onsite or at provider’s location) and web-based learning. Business and training provider will determine best training delivery method.

Application Process
Interested business must complete and submit the Upskill Western Piedmont Pre-Award Questionnaire prior to receiving the Application.


Completed Application must be submitted to the Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board for consideration.


Notification of decision will be sent to applicant within 14 days of the application submission date. If approved for training, WPWDB will work with the business to complete all required documentation.

Reimbursement Process
Business will submit invoice to WPWDB for review and processing. Reimbursements are processed and issued on a monthly invoicing cycle (See Financial Calendar). Grant must be used within 12 months from the date of the Contract Date.


For more information, contact Matthew Xiong, Business Services Consultant at 828-485-4215 or

If you want to read the Upskill Policy Statement, refer to our Policy PageFor a PDF version of the Initiative Summary.

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