Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-22-400 No. 6   03/24/2023    
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                                       OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 


In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.22.327, 24.22.331, and 24.22.335 pertaining to incumbent worker training







            TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On April 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., a public hearing will be held via remote conferencing to consider the proposed changes to the above-stated rules. There will be no in-person hearing. Interested parties may access the remote conferencing platform in the following ways:

            a. Join Zoom Meeting, https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j81319337203

                  Meeting ID: 813 1933 7203, Passcode: 021501


            b. Dial by telephone, +1 406 444 9999 or +1 646 558 8656

                  Meeting ID: 813 1933 7203, Passcode: 021501


            2. The Department of Labor and Industry (department) will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this public hearing or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m., on April 6, 2023, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Brandon Kirchgasler at P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728; telephone (406) 444-5466; Montana Relay 711; or e-mail laborlegal@mt.gov.


            3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:



            (1) through (1)(b)(i) remain the same.

            (ii) certified education training that meets the criteria contained in (5); or

            (iii) through (4) remain the same.

            (5) Certified education training must result in a nationally recognized or industry-recognized credential being awarded in recognition of attainment of a measurable technique or occupational skill, based on standards developed or endorsed by employers.

            (6) Training may be provided in any of the following methods: must include direct, live access to the trainer.

            (a) classroom training where the student travels to the trainer;

            (b) on-site training where the trainer travels to the grantee's business and customizes training to the business's needs; or

            (c) online training that is interactive, where:

            (i) the student has access to the trainer;

            (ii) the student demonstrates or practices what the student is learning; and          

            (iii) the online training has the capability to provide suitable proof of completion. 


            AUTH: 53-2-1220, MCA

            IMP:     53-2-1217, 53-2-1218, MCA


REASON: Reasonable necessity exists to amend (1) and (5) to refer to "training" rather than "education," which better aligns with the purposes of the incumbent worker training (IWT) program.  Reasonable necessity exists to amend (6) to simplify and clarify training requirements–specifically, that trainers must be available to trainees "live," whether in person or online, so as to answer questions and provide interaction.


            24.22.331 GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS (1) through (8) remain the same.

            (9) Applications must be received by the department with sufficient time for processing. Generally, 20 14 calendar days prior to the date training begins is sufficient for the department to:

            (a) through (10) remain the same. 


            AUTH: 53-2-1220, MCA

            IMP:     53-2-1217, 53-2-1218, MCA


REASON: Section (9) is proposed to be amended to reflect a shorter review time necessary for the department.



            (1) Except as provided in (a) and (b), the The department provides grant funding on a first-come, first-served basis, in accordance with the receipt by the department of a complete application for funding.

            (a) As required by 53-2-1218, MCA, applications will be reviewed based on funding evenly distributed across fiscal year quarters and by employer size.  Funding not used during a quarter will be carried over to the next quarter to employers of any size.  Funding assigned to the program but not utilized during the fiscal year will not be carried forward.  During the quarter from July 1, 2023, through September 30, 2023, solely employers with 50 or fewer workers are eligible for grants.

            (a) (b)  Although incumbent worker training grants are generally available on a first-come, first-served basis, the department reserves the right to defer the review of multiple grant applications submitted by any single employer, in order to provide funding to employers on an equitable basis. The department encourages employers not to submit multiple applications "shotgun style," but instead make applications that are well tailored to the specific needs of the employer and the employer's workforce.

            (b) remains the same but is renumbered (c).

            (2) through (7)(a) remain the same.

            (b) $2,000 for applications received between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, and $2,500 for applications received on or after October 1, 2023, per incumbent worker working an average of 35 or more hours a week, predominantly year round. 


            AUTH: 53-2-1220, MCA

            IMP:     53-2-1217, 53-2-1218, MCA


REASON:  Reasonable necessity exists to amend (1) to implement changes from House Bill(HB) 41 (2023) for the program.  In particular, the legislation established size-based criteria for IWT grant awards.  The proposed amendment specifies grant funding carry forward and distribution of funding.  Reasonable necessity exists to amend (7) to reflect the availability of increased grant awards.  Both changes will occur on the effective date of HB 41–October 1, 2023.


            4. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted at dli.mt.gov/rules or to P.O. Box 1728; Helena, Montana 59624.  Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., April 21, 2023.


            5. An electronic copy of this notice of public hearing is available at sosmt.gov/ARM/register.


            6. The agency maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by the agency. Persons wishing to have their name added to the list may sign up at dli.mt.gov/rules or by sending a letter to P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624 and indicating the program or programs about which they wish to receive notices. 


            7. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled. The primary bill sponsor was contacted on March 2, 2023, by electronic mail.


            8. Pursuant to 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the rule changes proposed in this notice will have a significant, direct, and positive impact upon small businesses.  The department expects that any small business which seeks to train and upskill its workers will find benefit in the statutory increase to grant awards and specificity in timing of how awards will be issued.


            9. Department staff has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.





Quinlan L. O'Connor

Alternate Rule Reviewer


Laurie Esau, Commissioner



Certified to the Secretary of State March 14, 2023.


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