(1) Except as provided in (a) and (b), 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) 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) Applications for which review has been deferred will be reconsidered and evaluated on a quarterly basis during the state fiscal year in which the application was submitted. An employer's successful use of grant funding for completed training during the current year or previous years is a factor which will generally weigh in favor of additional applications being granted during the year.
(2) The department shall award incumbent worker training grant funds to employers in accordance with the grant award criteria set forth by 53-2-1218, MCA.
(3) The department shall award incumbent worker training grant funds only to employers who have demonstrated that incumbent worker training is an integral part of a plan for worker retention, skill improvement, or wage enhancement. The plan is demonstrated by the information provided on the grant application.
(4) The department shall award incumbent worker training grant funds on a prospective basis only and may not award grant funding to an employer for training that occurred prior to the date upon which the application was approved by the department.
(5) The department shall award incumbent worker training grant funds only for training that is completed in less than a year.
(6) The following are not eligible for incumbent worker training grant funding:
(a) continuing education that is necessary to maintain a license or certification;
(b) conferences, or training that occurs in conjunction with a conference;
(c) training customarily provided or required by the employer or the industry. This includes new employee training and training required to perform the duties the incumbent worker was hired to perform; and
(d) periodic updates regarding laws or product lines.