The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reforms of 2014 placed an emphasis on providing the United States’ workforce with job-driven training. The workforce system contributes to economic growth and business expansion by matching employers with ready-to-work individuals. In an effort to support the country’s dynamic economy, WIOA supports employers in meeting their workforce needs by offering the following business services.
On-the-Job Training (OJT)
OJT is training that is provided by an employer in the public, private non-profited, or private sector to a WIOA participant. The training allows employers to teach new employees the skills necessary to perform the job adequately, while reimbursing them for the loss of productivity during the training period. During the training period, an employer can be reimbursed for up to 50% of the wages of the participant for up to the first six months of employment. The participant must be hired by the employer at the start of the training period.
OJT services are available to underemployed and unemployed adults and dislocated workers who have met the WIOA eligibility requirements. For individuals to be eligible, there must be a gap between the skills they possess and the skills that the job requires. The difficulty of the job and the skills gap determines how long the paid training period will last.
Customized Training (CT)
CT meets the special requirements of an employer or group of employers by allowing them to tailor and design work-based skills training for new employees. Employers utilizing CT are eligible for a reimbursement of a portion of the cost of training. CT offers participants an introduction to new technologies, new production or service procedures, upgrading to new jobs that require additional skills, workplace literacy, and other appropriate training services.
CT services are available to underemployed and unemployed adults and dislocated workers who have met the WIOA eligibility requirements and are unable to obtain or retain employment leading to self-sufficiency.
Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)
IWT is designed to improve the skills of employees and the competiveness of an employer by offering support with the costs associated with upskilling the employer’s workforce. It is intended to retain skilled employees or avert a potential layoff. In a training scenario not related to layoff aversion, the IWT program will create the opportunity for an employee to receive an increase in pay and skill. In this scenario, it is strongly recommended that the employer will also create the opportunity to backfill the trainee’s position with a new or existing employee. To participate in an IWT program under WIOA, an employee must have an established employment history with the employer of at least six months at the time of training. Workers employed less than six months can participate in the training if the majority of the IWT cohort meets the requirement.
Registered Apprenticeships (RA) Career Services
RA allows employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs. It is a proven model of training that combines paid on-the-job training (OJT) with related classroom instruction to progressively increase a worker’s skill level and wages. WIOA offers an opportunity to expand and emphasize RA as a talent development strategy because of their alignment with employer-driven, work-based training.