Initiatives to help employers hire, keep workers on the job

1/31/2014, 5:24 a.m.

Three workforce initiatives that will making it easier for DeKalb businesses to put long-term unemployed workers back to work and boost the skills of existing employees are seeking applicants.

Details about the DeKalb’s Learn & Earn On-the-Job Training Initiative; The Incumbent Worker Training Initiative; and the The Workforce Innovation Grant Work Experience Initiative will be unveiled at 9 a.m. at a Feb. 11 Business Breakfast Forum at the DeKalb Worforce Development offices.

Interested employers have until 5 p.m. on Feb. 7 to register at http://tinyurl.com/mfr5w34.

The initiatives, which were announced on Jan. 27 by DeKalb interim CEO Lee May, are designed to spur hiring, retain employees, and re-employ long-term unemployed workers. .

The initiatives are funded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act and Workforce Innovation Fund.

The programs are:

DeKalb’s Learn & Earn On-the-Job Training Initiative

Qualified employers will get a subsidy/reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the OJT employee’s wages. The subsidy covers the costs of training for up to a 90-day period. Employers must agree to hire eligible individuals, provide them with skills training over a specific period of time, and pay wages at the same rates as similarly situated employees.

The initiative minimizes the upfront costs of training and supervision for new employees and ensures training is aligned with the actual skill requirements of the job. Employers also realize immediate gains in productivity as workers learn on the job. Workers benefit from employment and the immediate gain of income they will receive during the training process. Interested employers should contact Diontrise Blake at 404-371-2592 for more information.

The Incumbent Worker Training Initiative

Existing businesses will get funding for skills-upgrade training for existing full-time employees to help them retain employees and stay competitive.

The initiative is designed to avert layoffs and possible business closings.

Businesses may use a public or private training provider or may use an approved in-house training provider based on the nature of the training.

Interested employers should contact Varonia Walker at 404-371-6288.

The Workforce Innovation Grant Work Experience Initiative

Employers get wage subsidies for up to six months to offer work experience to people who have been unemployed for one year or longer. They work directly with Manpower to identify qualified candidates for open positions.

The goal is to provide current work experience to the long-term unemployed and increase their chance of landing jobs. Interested employers should contact Varonia Walker at 404-371-6288.

Eligible employers must be established businesses and demonstrate financial viability.

They and participants will be screened by DeKalb Workforce Development.

The above initiatives are subject to funds availability and in accordance to WIA guidelines.

DeKalb Workforce Development is at 774 Jordan Lane, Building 4, in Decatur.