The Paulding/Defiance County Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) office hosted a recent business workshop for Paulding County businesses. The event was facilitated by the Paulding County Economic Development (PCED) at the Paulding Eagles community room.
The event was intended to educate business owners on services, tax credits and reimbursement programs available to employers through OMJ and Job & Family Services offices.
Tiffany Goings, Workforce Supervisor for Ohio Means Jobs, opened the meeting and presented OMJ’s Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) and On-The-Job (OTJ) Training reimbursement programs.
The IWT program is for employers interested in upskilling or training an employee for a different skill. OMJ will provide reimbursement for 50% of the training cost. To be eligible, the employee must be full-time and employed for at least six months.
The OTJ program is for potential candidates an employee would want to bring onto their workforce. Before an employee goes through the onboarding process, they’ll meet with the OMJ career coach team to determine their eligibility, and if they are eligible, they can receive 50% of their hourly wage, up to $13,000 or six months, whichever comes first; meaning an employer can put $13,000 back into their business to train and bring on a new hire.
OMJ also offers pre-hire assessments, drug screens, background checks, job postings on their ohiomeansjobs.com website, and services to post to social media. All of these services are available at no cost to businesses.
Greg Warren, Ohio Means Jobs Program Administrator, demonstrated how to navigate the OMJ website, i.e. employers posting their job listings, establishing metrics and guidelines for resume mining to find the ideal candidate, and managing their online accounts.
Presenter B.J. Knutson, Program Administrator for the Office of Workforce Development, presented the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a federal tax program for employers who hire eligible individuals from defined targeted groups, many of which have barriers to employment. “There is no cap on the amount of dollars that the IRS is offering,” explains Knutson. This program can also be used in conjunction with OTJ training and apprenticeship programs.”
Tech Cred was then presented and explained by Tori Atkinson, Executive Director of Workforce Development Client Services for Northwest State Community College. TechCred, a workforce training program, provides reimbursement dollars to Ohio companies that have W2 employees. Reimbursement is provided for qualified businesses when they train and upskill their workforce in short-term, technology-focused, industry-recognized credentials. Atkinson describes the program as “a win-win. Ohio is winning because your companies are winning as you train your individuals and upskill them.”
Since the start of the program in October 2018 and through 2022, over 2100 employers have applied for TechCred, equaling $24.3 million. 57,000 plus credentials have been awarded and funded through the program. “We have companies in our area that have applied [every round] since October of 2018. The application portal is currently open. The window opened on March 1, 2023, and closes at 3 p.m. on March 31, 2023. The next round will begin in May.
There are currently over 2000 credentials that are pre-approved on the list. “When the program launched, there were just over 400, and the only way to have credentials added to the pre-approval list is by employers. Training providers, universities, community colleges, don’t have the ability to request to have something added. This is completely an employer-driven system.” Participants were guided through a sign-up form for the Ohio program. For more information, to begin the application process, visit www.techcred.ohio.gov.
The meeting closed out with quick presentations from Ivy Tech, Ft. Wayne; Northwest State and Rhodes State Community Colleges as the shared how each could assist businesses in using the Tech Cred office.