On the Job Training (OJT) is a strategy for companies to receive employee training funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). While there are similar programs run throughout the state by local workforce development offices. the details provided below are specific to the program administered by The Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium, Inc. (WDC).
According to the WIOA, the term on-the-job-training refers to, “training by an employer that is provided to a paid participant while engaged in productive work in a job that:
- (A) provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job;
- (B) is made available through a program that provides reimbursement to the employer of up to 50% of the wage rate of the participant…for the extraordinary costs of providing the training and the additional supervision related to the training; and
- (C) is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for which the participant is being trained, taking into account the content of the training, the prior work experience of the participant, and the service strategy of the participant, as appropriate.”
OJT is not only a resource for individuals to build their skills in a new field, but it provides an incentive to employers to hire individuals and invest in their development.
Is OJT Right for Your Organization?
Your company or organization may be a good candidate to benefit from the program if you already have a training plan in place or regularly provide skills training for newly hired employees.
In order to participate in this program, your company must go through a vetting process run by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL). This process is completed to ensure that your company is in compliance with state laws and requirements.
Your company must also submit a job order form for the position which will be posted on the WNY job bank. However, you can identify a candidate for the position and refer the candidate to the program. It is important to note that this program is only available for newly hired permanent employees— not for seasonal or part-time employees.
Next, a training plan to bridge the skills gap must be developed and approved. The WDC should work with you to help set the training plan. This plan must be completed and approved before the employee can officially begin their first day.
Additionally, the program will reimburse 50% of training hours for up to 24 weeks or 960 hours with a limit of $7,000 per newly hired employee and a company limit of $21,000 per year.
The above are just some highlights of the OJT plan—there are several other steps within the process, and it may take a few weeks to work through it, so be sure to allow ample time.
If you’re interested in learning more about this program, reach out to your local workforce development office If you are in the Buffalo/Erie County area, learn more about the region’s OJT assistance program here.