Cosmolab awarded state grant

Friday, March 30, 2012

NASHVILLE - One of Lewisburg's biggest employers has received a state grant to avoid layoffs and help the company improve employee skills.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis made the announcement Thursday about the award of $9,159 to Cosmolab, Inc. in Lewisburg.

"This administration has been working to got these programs out there that help initial startups or the startup of a new line at an existing employer," said Mike Wiles, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board in Marshall County. "This kind of grant really helps."

Cosmolab employs about 350 people.

"If Tennessee is going to become the number one location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs, then we must offer a well-trained workforce to employers," Gov. Haslam said. "This kind of training grant not only helps educate workers, but also provides incentive to employers looking to relocate or expand in Tennessee."

The labor commissioner agreed.

"Both job creation and retention are vital in maintaining a healthy economy in Tennessee, and the Incumbent Worker Training program has played a key role in accomplishing this," said Davis. "Since the program's inception, Incumbent Worker Training grants have assisted more than 600 businesses by providing $14 million to train approximately 50,000 employees."

In their application for the grant, Cosmolab, Inc. stated this grant will help the company compete and maintain their reputation as innovators in the cosmetic markets.

The company plans to develop 40 percent new products each year, a state press release said.

The South Central Tennessee Workforce Board played a key role in awarding the grant to Cosmolab, Inc.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the Incumbent Worker Training program. The program has been structured to be flexible to meet the business's training objectives. The business may use public, private, or its own in-house training provider based on the nature of the training.

The following criteria must be met to qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Employers must be in operation in Tennessee for at least one year prior to application date. Employers must have at least five full-time employees, demonstrate financial viability, and be current on all state tax obligations. Funding priority is given to businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy and represent a significant upgrade of skills.

"I would like to thank Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Davis for their involvement in awarding this grant to the workers of Marshall County," said state Sen. Bill Ketron.

State Rep. Eddie Bass said, "By investing in the skills of Tennessee's workforce, we're also investing in our future economic success."