LONGMONT - Colorado companies looking to add new jobs or to use new technology can receive employee training grants of up to $800 per worker through a $4.2 million state program.

In general, the incentive grants are made to companies based on the number of jobs they create - either by expanding or by moving into the state, according to a press statement. Companies that use new technology to remain competitive globally and to keep jobs in Colorado also can be eligible, according to the press statement.

Annual program funding varies from year to year and comes through the state Legislature. This year's total program budget was increased to $4.2 million from $2.7 million last year to support increased company demands for training, said Sam Bailey, business development manager at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

"We see a tremendous request from companies that are expanding or taking on new technologies," Bailey said.

Front Range Community College representatives hold free information sessions to explain details of how to qualify and apply for the employee training grants. Companies must pay 40 percent toward the total cost of training, for example, according to information about the program on the website of the Colorado Community College System, a program partner.

In Boulder County, company representatives can attend a free session at 3 p.m., Thursday, June 27, at the Front Range Community College campus at 2121 Miller Drive in Longmont. Companies from Boulder and Broomfield counties can attend the Boulder County campus session. Other free sessions are being held at FRCC campuses in Fort Collins and Westminster for companies in Larimer County and in north Adams and northeast Jefferson counties.

Company representatives can register at www.frontrange.edu/traininggrants to attend a session.

FRCC has administered millions of dollars of state funding over the years to help train employees at new and existing companies in Colorado, according to the press statement. Trainees must sign an affidavit to certify they have attended training programs.

Front Range works in coordination with the Colorado Community College System and the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade on the program, which started in 1983.