SEMCA can help you to train your current employees for new equipment or software.

The training your employees need, so your business can grow

Is your company considering laying off employees, but you could avoid lay offs if only you could install new equipment or software to get that new contract?

SEMCA may be able to help you with your dilemma.

The Incumbent Worker Training Program is funded by The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and administered by Workforce Development Agency State of Michigan through Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), a Michigan Works! Agency. SEMCA will administer, monitor, evaluate and provide fiscal and grant compliance during the application and/or training process. The purpose of the program is to advance the goals of the local workforce strategic plans by providing incumbent worker training grants to businesses to assist with skills upgrade training for currently employed full-time employees who are at risk of being laid off. Training for reimbursement under the IWT program cannot begin prior to the signing of a contract agreement between SEMCA, the business, and the training provider. Training must begin within 60 days of approval notification.

The Goal of the Incumbent Worker Training Program:

To avert lay offs, as well as, encourage, support and develop businesses and industries that strengthen the state’s economy, to provide first-rate employment opportunities for residents, and to promote workplace competitiveness and self-sufficiency in a global economy that can respond to new market demands for goods and services.

Program Guidelines

Application for the 2015- 2016 SEMCA Incumbent Worker Training Program is open to all Michigan businesses in the Wayne and Monroe county regions (excluding the city of Detroit) that meet the guidelines listed below and are ADA compliant. Please note that the IWT funds are limited and are therefore awarded on an “as funds are available basis.” All applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that applicants apply for at least $7,000. One application per business is accepted. Individual applications must be submitted for a company with multiple locations.

Call 1-734-229-3520 to speak with our Workforce Project Associate, Margie LeNoir, or send her an e-mail at

I. Guidelines for Funding:

  • The business must enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), the Michigan Works! Service Centers, and the educational institution in a collaborative effort to upgrade skill levels that lead to increased productivity, an improved labor market and economic advancement

  • Note: Incumbent worker training funds shall be targeted to specific businesses or employers that are experiencing a decline and have the potential to undergo layoffs. “Layoff aversion is defined as when: a worker’s job is saved with an existing employer that is at risk of downsizing, closing or the worker is at risk of dislocation and transition to a different job with the same employer or a new job with a different employer and experiences a minimal spell of unemployment. Therefore, incumbent worker training must be designed to avert layoffs or be job specific retraining related to layoff aversion and/or be new organizational strategies designed to avert layoffs. Cases where there is no foreseeable threat of layoffs or the intent of training is to generally increase competitiveness of the employer does not constitute layoff aversion strategies.”

  • In order for a company to receive consideration, the business must be willing to contact the Workforce Project Associate to discuss the incumbent worker training guidelines. Businesses that receive approval must provide a representative to sign a written agreement in person

  • The business must utilize the SEMCA Michigan Works! service system by listing job openings on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect and by reviewing resumes from candidates for potential job openings

  • The business must be a “for-profit” organization and have been in operation in Michigan for a minimum of two years prior to the application date. A non-profit agency is not eligible for funding

  • The business must have at least twenty-five full-time employees

  • The business must contribute to the state’s unemployment insurance system

  • The business must be current on all state tax obligations

  • Eligible employees are those employed fulltime on or before the signature date on the submitted application. This does not include contractual staff or temporary employees

  • The business must provide proof of permanent residency or employment-based immigrant or nonimmigrant visas for employees that are not United States citizen