Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) is designed to ensure that employees of a company are able to gain the skills necessary to retain employment and advance within the company or to provide the skills necessary to avert a layoff. Such training must increase both a participant’s and a company’s competitiveness.
Incumbent workers are currently-employed workers whose employers have determined that the worker requires training to increase the competitiveness of the employee or the employer. The worker must have an established employment history with the employer for six (6) or more months and employed in a situation that meets the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements for an employer-employee relationship. Such training will upgrade workers' skills, increase wages earned by employees and/or keep workers skills competitive.
There is one exception to the six month requirement: in the event that incumbent worker training is being provided to a cohort of employees, not every employee in the cohort must have an established employment history with the employer for six months or more as long as a majority of those employees being trained meet the employment history requirement.
Incumbent worker training considerations:
Determining Incumbent Worker Training Funding
When determining use of funding for incumbent worker training with a particular employer, the Local Workforce Development Board (WDB) must include in their local plan a description of the strategies and services that will be used in the local area to identify and document participant characteristics, the relationship of the training to the competitiveness of the participant and employer, and other factors that the Local WDB determines appropriate.
Additional factors for determining use of funding for incumbent worker training may include:
The cost sharing requirement for employers participating in incumbent worker training is to pay for the non-federal share of the cost of providing training to incumbent workers of the employers.
The non-federal share shall not be less than:
The non-federal share provided by an employer participating in the program may include the amount of the wages paid by the employer to a worker while the worker is attending an incumbent worker training program. The employer share may be in cash or in kind.
An incumbent worker does not have to meet the eligibility requirements for career and training services for adults and dislocated workers under WIOA, unless they are also enrolled as a participant in the WIOA Title I adult or dislocated worker program.
IWT can also be used for underemployed workers—e.g. workers who would prefer full-time work but are working part-time for economic reasons. While these workers are employed, they may have accepted reduced hours to gain or maintain employment or a previous dislocation has led them to accept reduced employment and often lower wages that may have a permanent effect on their careers.