LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - Several Workforce Development Training Programs exist across the state but, what many businesses aren't aware of, is the number of grants available to them.
The Incumbent Worker Training Program, IWTP, and the Small Business Employee Training, SBET, are two programs that are completely funded by the state. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Acadiana businesses were approved three-million dollars the last fiscal year to train employees while on the job.
South Louisiana Community College’s Corporate College partners with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority to speak to local business owners about training grants available. The panelist also spoke to employees about the type of programs they can join when interested in working in a field they may have little to no experience in. In efforts to increase employee retention and keep employment rates high, the state provides grants each fiscal year for training programs.
Business Development Officer, Carlos Harvins, said it’s time to get the word out.
"It’s to connect employers with financial resources. State grants that are available to them to train the workforce. It’s letting them know that if they are a small business, there's funding available. That’s 50 employees or less. If they're midsize to a large business, 51 or more employees, there are grants that are available to train that workforce as well,” said Harvins.
CEO of Industrial Technologies in Lafayette, George Sfier, said these programs are vital for local businesses.
It’s very, very important to have qualified and trained personnel for the company to succeed. Doing a job, or taking over a project, and having delays and failures due to unqualified and untrained people is unacceptable to or clients and to our company,” said Sfier.
Eligibility Criteria Employers must:
1. have been in business in the state for at least three years, contributing and in full compliance with state UI tax laws;
2. cannot receive IWTP Customized Training and IWTP Small Business Employee Training concurrently;
3. must have at least 15 employees to be trained (employers can form consortiums to meet this requirement); and
4. request training to either: a) prevent job loss caused by obsolete skills, technological change, or national or global competition; b) create, update, or retain jobs in a labor demand occupation; or c) update or retain jobs in an occupation which is not a labor demand occupation, if the administrator determines that the services are necessary to prevent the likely loss of jobs.
Trainees must be incumbent workers for whom the employer incurs a Louisiana UI tax liability; Training Providers selected by employers must demonstrate a history of:
1. Successful training through its placement, retention, and satisfaction rates;
2. Collaboration with the targeted industry in the development of the training program curriculum; and
3. Use of a current industry.
1. Employer decides what training is needed and selects a suitable training provider(s)
2. Employer and the training provider jointly develop a customized training plan to meet the needs of the company(s) and complete the IWTP online application at www.laworks.net.
3. Applications are reviewed by IWTP staff to assure that all IWTP requirements are met. Negotiations are conducted to improve the application and to provide for the most cost-effective training.
4. Applications are submitted to the Executive Director of the Workforce Commision for review and approval.
5. Upon approval of the Executive Director, a contract is developed specifying the goals to be accomplished, the scope of work and the line item budget. The contract is emailed to the employer and training provider for signature.
6. The contract is signed by the Executive Director and then forwarded to the LWC Contracts Unit. After the contract is encumbered and returned to the IWTP unit it will be e-mailed to all parties and training can begin.