Maximizing Services Proven to Support Business
Recruitment and workforce planning, employee training, recruiting and retention, labor market analysis and much more are no-cost services offered by your workforce board CareerSource Brevard (CSB), because you’ve already paid for them. Each year, your business is paying taxes that fund state workforce programs designed to support businesses of all sizes. Regardless of where your business offices may be located, the State has a network of 24 workforce agencies that collaborate when you need a special solution that does not exist in Brevard County. This leverage can help open doors and allows your local workforce board to provide resources for you locally.
Don’t Leave Money and Opportunities on the Table
Like CareerSource Brevard, many of Florida’s workforce boards connect a business liaison matched to an employer’s workforce needs. These professionals are experienced in providing workforce services, knowledgeable about eligibility/processing of grants and programs administered and specialists in the industry sectors in which they work. The business teams as a whole collaborate with industry, education, training and economic development providers to understand and fill skills demands that help companies prepare, plan and grow.
Of the many programs available to meet this need, CSB and its regional workforce boards agree – the On the Job Training (OJT) program is one service that consistently leads in customer satisfaction and Return on Investment (ROI). OJTs are especially useful for businesses generating high-demand careers in growing industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, aviation and maritime. In fact, workforce boards are allocating a large share of their overall available training funds to the OJT program. CSB, Brevard’s only workforce board, has allocated 70 percent of this program year to OJTs.
OJT By the Numbers
Each year, over 100 businesses in Brevard take advantage of the OJT program, helping over 150 jobseekers get back to work. After one year, more than 90 percent of the employees completing the OJT program remained employed, and many of the other 10 percent have moved to new employment with higher wages and additional responsibilities.
OJT is training provided by an employer to a paid eligible employee while engaged in productive work. Requirements include:
• Provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the employee.
• Participant must be dislocated from his or her last position, or meet financial eligibility.
• No money is required up front by the employer.
• The employer will hire, train, and pay the employee as normal.
• The employer will be reimbursed by CSB each month or at the end of the training contract for the training provided.
CSB reimburses the employer up to 50 percent of the wage rate of the employee to offset the costs of providing training and the additional supervision related to the training of a new employee.
Training is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for which the employee is being trained, taking into account the content of the training, the prior work experience and the employment plan for the employee.
Employers Weigh In
Despite the drop in unemployment, businesses are still hiring. However, finding workers with all the skills and experience required to hit the ground running is a challenge, making OJT for new hires an extremely favorable option. OJTs are a perfect tool for training the “teachable fit” for jobseekers who may not have all the technical abilities needed to jump right into a job, but have the essential workforce skills, attitude, aptitude and culture fit your business is looking for. You can teach skills but you can’t teach fit!
Another favorable aspect to the OJT program is succession planning. Long-term workers are heading toward retirement, so the time is now to cross train and share organizational intelligence with the new talent.
How It’s Done
Contact your local workforce board to meet with a business liaison that can assist you through the process. Your workforce board will make it as simple as this: fill out a two-page OJT application and design a training plan. Once a potential employee has been identified, the process takes five to seven business days. All paperwork will be completed, signed, and approved by the workforce board prior to the employee starting work.
Lisa Rice is the President of CareerSource Brevard, a 501(c)3 organization providing federally mandated workforce programs in Brevard County.
This article appears in the April 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Business.