Incumbent Worker Training

The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program helps local employers develop and implement training programs for current employees who need intensive services in order to retain employment. The Business Service team can assist employers in finding a trainer which suits their needs. Training costs may be reimbursed from 50% and up to 90% or more based on the size of the company. 

What is Incumbent Worker Training?

IWT provides employers with a means of working with their current employees who need to improve their skills in order to avoid being laid off from an employer which is at risk of downsizing or closing. 

  • Hands-on training designed by the employer.
  • A payment to offset training costs.
  •  An opportunity to train employees your way.
  •  An investment in your company.

How Does IWT Work?

Interested employers must meet certain criteria in order to participate. The employer must be associated with a targeted industry, which is defined locally.  Your local Business Service Team (BST) representatives can assist the employer in determining if their industry qualifies under local guidelines as an eligible target industry. The next step is to determine whether the business meets Layoff Aversion “At Risk” indicators defined below:

  • We help you design a training plan that meets your needs.
  • You get reimbursed for up to 50% or more of the costs of training during the IWT period.

Businesses May Qualify If They:

If the employer has been assessed as meeting the target industry criteria, the next step is to determine if they meet one or more of the following Layoff Aversion “At-Risk” indicators, including:

  • Declining sales
  • Supply chain issues
  • Adverse industry/market trends
  • Changes in management philosophy or ownership
  • The worker does not have in-demand skills
  • There is a strong possibility of a job if the worker attains new skills

Finalizing the Project

Once a company’s eligibility has been determined, the Business Service Team will work with the employer to outline the training program and assist with identifying and securing a trainer, if needed. 

For more information, contact:


Business Services Project Lead | Lake County Workforce Development

Phone 847.377.3437 | eFax 847.984.5656

[email protected] | 

Download the IWT Presentation