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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Incumbent Worker Training program

The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program is funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and administered by Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Employment and Training Services (DETS).

The program is designed to increase the competitiveness of the business and incumbent workers by ensuring they acquire the skills necessary to retain employment, advance within the business or to provide the worker skills necessary to avert a layoff. The training is conducted with a commitment by the employer to retain the incumbent workers who received the training.

The benefits of incumbent worker training include:

For Employers
  • Increased Competitiveness
  • Skilled Workforce
  • Increased Productivity
  • Increased Profits
  • Company Growth
  • Reduced Turnover
For Employees
  • Advancement Opportunities
  • Increased Job Competitiveness
  • Industry Recognized Credentials
  • Job Retention
  • Transportable/Transferrable Skills

Incumbent workers must be employed at the time of their participation. Employers will only be reimbursed for training costs incurred on behalf the incumbent worker and in accordance with their approved budget.

Incumbent worker training provides flexibility regarding the types of training and the training provider based upon the employers overall workforce development needs. The training may be provided by public or private educational institution, a private training company or private instructor, a company employee, or a combination of training providers; and provided at the company’s facility, at the training provider’s facility, or a combination of locations. The employer may select an external training provider that best suits their training needs.

Employers must provide a contribution to the incumbent worker training program. The size of the contribution is based on the size of their business. Employer contribution rates are:

  • 50 or fewer employees = 10 percent
  • 51-99 employees = 25 percent
  • 100 or more employees = 50 percent

This contribution can include wages paid to their employees during the time they are in training, as well as other in-kind contributions. Employer cost share contributions and methodology used to determine the value of in-kind contributions must be tracked and documented as part of the grant award.

More Information about Incumbent Worker Training requirements can be found in the Incumbent Worker Training Guide.

Employers may apply for incumbent worker training by completing the following:

Applications or request may be emailed to