The following do not qualify for IWT grant funding. Do not apply if:
- Your business has not been operating (conducting business) at least 1 year in Montana;
- Your business is seasonal;
- Your business is a public entity (funded through tax base, make and/or enforce policy);
- You have more than 50 employees in Montana that work at least 20 hours a week;
- You are requesting funding for a conference or seminar;
- You are requesting funding for training that qualifies for continuing education for licensing or certification requirements; or
- Your training does not begin before June 20th of the current state fiscal year.
Your application must be submitted with sufficient time for processing. Generally 20 calendar days prior to the date training begins is sufficient.
Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) is a state-funded grant program that helps Montana's eligible small businesses purchase skills-based training or certified education for their existing employees.
The intent is to significantly upgrade the skills of currently employed workers through training, thus helping businesses to remain competitive.
Grant caps are tiered, based on the number of hours an eligible employee works:
- 20-34 hours a week year round $1000
- 35+ hours a week year round $2000
These amounts are not an allowance or entitlement.
IWT requires the applicant to match grant dollars:
- 20% of training costs;
- 20% of in-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training; and
- 50% of out-of-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training
Any 20% match may be met in kind using wages paid while in training and travel status, except for sole proprietors.
Grant Funding Disbursement
IWT is a reimbursement program. By law, funding may not be released to grantees until the Department receives:
- Proof of payment issued by the trainer (i.e. a receipt);
- Receipts for other approved costs; and
- Proof of completion issued by the trainer
- In operation in Montana at least one year;
- No more than 50 employees statewide;
- Must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office as:
- Partnership; or
- Sole Proprietor* Some exceptions apply;
- Have a need for upgrading the skills of their employees as a way to remain competitive in their industry or the economy; and
- Can meet the match requirements
- Are Permanent;
- Work at least six months for the business; and
- Work an average of at least 20 hours a week year round, at least 11 months out of 12.
Training should be short-term in nature (completed in less than a year), and must:
- Start by June 20th of the current fiscal period;
- Be either:
- skills-based training: training a new task or a new way of performing an old task; or
- Be ertified education: resulting in an industry-recognized credential or is offered through Montana's two-year college and university system.
Conferences and training affiliated with conferences will not be funded.
Training that can be used to maintain an existing professional license or certification will not be funded.
Grant funding may reimburse all or part of the costs of training eligible employees.
Reimbursable expenses include:
- Tuition, registration, fees, and required materials. Asset purchases are not eligible;
- Transportation required to attend training such as mileage or airfare; and
- Lodging required to attend training.
Note: Wages are not a reimbursable cost.
Grant Funding is Limited
- Grant funding is allocated to the Department on a State Fiscal Year (July 1st - June 30th), and is available on a first-come first-served basis.
- One quarter of the funding is allocated to the program each quarter.
- Awards are made until funding is exhausted each quarter. Awards are made based on eligibility, submission date, and available funding.
- If funding is exhausted prior to the end of the quarter, eligible applications will be held on a wait list for first access to the next quarter's funding. This only applies between 1st and 2nd quarters, 2nd and 3rd quarters, and 3rd and 4th quarters. Applications not awarded by June 20th of the current state fiscal year are null and void.
- Funding is allocated to the Department of Labor & Industry at the discretion of the Montana Legislature and is not guaranteed.
When To Apply
- Businesses can apply beginning in July each year.
- Applications are accepted for the Incumbent Worker Training program’s current year’s funding cycle only.
- Incomplete applications or those needing additional clarification will be returned to the applicant, and are not considered to be submitted until they are complete.
- Submitted applications are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
- Applications must be submitted at least 20 days before the training start date.
- Applications must be approved by the Department before training begins.
- Applications will not be accepted after June 10th for the current funding cycle.
- Eligible training must begin by June 30th of the current fiscal cycle, regardless of which quarter the application is submitted.
Requirements If You Choose To Apply
You must provide specific information about the training such as:
- List of employees;
- Itemized costs;
- Specific dates for the training;
- How you will prove training completion;
- How the training will benefit both the business and the employees.
If You Choose to Use a Grant Writer
- You must notify the Program Manager who your authorized Grant Writer will be so they can be associated with your organization in the Montana Grants and Loans system. This status can be changed at any time.
- Your grant writer may prepare any of the application components except:
- Application Certification Form
- Submitting the application (clicking the "Submit" button)
- Signing the Financial Agreement (assuming an award is made)
- Submitting the W-9 (assuming an award is made)
- Submitting the Reimbursement Claim
- The grant writer must list someone with signing authority from the business as an additional contact on the applcation. This ensures they have access to the application to perform tasks listed above that the business is required to do.
To find out more about the Incumbent Worker Training program, contact the Program Manager.