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What is OJT?

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is training for an occupation while on an employer's payroll, i.e., on-the-job. The employer may be in either the private or public sector. The trainee is engaged in productive work which provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job for which he/she is being trained.  In Northwest Georgia's 15-country area, the OJT system  is managed by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission which contracts with local Department of Labor Career Centers to work with employers and trainees to develop OJT agreements.
Individuals who are registered through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) are assessed and, in accordance with the resulting individualized service plan, they are referred to and hired by an employer for training on the job. The registrants are interviewed by the work-site employer and accepted for training and subsequent employment following successful completion of training.
Policies Regarding OJTs--
On-the-Job Training should lead to full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week), permanent employment with the employer. Employers must provide the registrant with the same wages, increases, and other benefits that it would provide to regular employees employed a similar length of time. The registrant is considered to be employed by the employer from the first day of earning wages.
Prior to the start of training, the employer identifies the competencies which will be needed to perform the job, usually by providing the OJT Job Developer with a copy of the company's job description for the position. The employer then assists in determining the length of time required to learn the competencies, based on the trainee's existing skills and/or knowledge. The employer is responsible for training the registrant in the acquisition of those competencies.
The employer and OJT Job Developer develop an agreement which establishes the provision of occupational training in exchange for reimbursement of some of the employer's costs associated with training the registrant. The training agreement includes the hourly rate of pay, a listing of the competencies to be learned, and the number of working hours estimated for the registrant to acquire those competencies.
The employer agrees to retain successful OJT completers in a full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week), training-related position. Payments to the employer for OJT are based on performance and cannot be more than 50% of the wages earned by the registrant during the training period based on the regular hourly rate of pay.  The reimbursement cannot include overtime rates or pay for days not worked such as holidays and sick leave. 
Employer Payments
The employer must keep copies of the registrant's daily time records and gross wages paid by payroll period for review by Coosa Valley RDC monitors. The employer receives payment when:

The registrant has completed all of the agreed upon training hours;

2 The registrant has satisfactorily learned each competency on the training outline;

The registrant has worked a minimum of 80 hours for the employer following the completion of training;

4 Coosa Valley RDC monitors have reviewed the daily time records to verify all training hours were completed;
5 Coosa Valley RDC monitors have reviewed the payroll documentation showing gross wages paid by payroll period to ensure wages were paid as agreed upon; and
6 The employer signs a form stating that the trainee (a) completed training, (b) attained the specified competencies, and (c) has worked a minimum of 80 hours of unsubsidized employment.
Occupations Suitable for OJT
Occupations that are suitable for OJT can be almost any job at an employer's work site as long as the skills to be learned are more than the most basic (such as a trash emptier). In general, most occupations that require a period of training and instruction to acquire specific skills and knowledge are suitable for on-the-job training agreements.
Occupations in the region for which layoffs and/or plan closures are being experienced are generally not approved for OJT agreements (i.e., sewing machine operators and clothing textile workers). Also, occupations which generally hire anyone regardless of age or skills are not suitable (i.e., fast food counter workers). Occupations in which a specific certification is required (i.e., certified nursing assistant, certified truck drivers) are usually not approved in this region.
Benefits for Registrants
Individuals with few job skills, who need training in order to have a job which will enable them to be self-sufficient but who cannot afford to take several months off work to go to school to get trained, can begin earning wages from the first day of training (employment);
Registrants are subject to the same conditions of employment as other similarly employed individuals with the employer (working hours, pay rates, qualifying time for health benefits, raises, etc.);
Registrants receive training in a workplace setting, under appropriate supervision, thus acquiring occupational skills and knowledge in an "on-the-job" training environment; and
Upon successful completion of the training hours and attainment of the skills on the training outline, the registrant enters unsubsidized employment with the employer. Note: This process is usually so smooth as to be unnoticed by the co-workers and, sometimes, even by the registrant.
Benefits to the Employer

OJT reduces the number of walk-ions who fill out applications in response to ads for vacancies. The OJT Job Developers pre-screen applicants for vacancies in the company and refer only those who meet the employer's criteria;

The new employees have been counseled to determine their occupational interests in an effort to make a match which will result in lasting employment. They have also been counseled regarding appropriate work habits (attendance, punctuality, stress management, etc.);

Hiring from the large pool of dislocated workers (workers who have lost their jobs due to lay offs and/or plant closures) allows the employer to benefit from the improved employee work ethics which comes with workers with good work histories;
Career counselors (OJT Job Developers) are available to assist in resolving problems which occur during the early stages of employment and during the first year of employment;
The employer receives a payment to offset the expense involved in training new employees; and
Increased positive public image of the company by assisting the community in providing jobs to unskilled workers.
For additional information about OJT, contact the Georgia Department of Labor Career Center OJT staff listed below:
Blue Ridge, 706.632.2033
Cartersville, 770.387.3760
Dalton,  706.272.2301
Fort Oglethorpe, 706.861.1990
Rome, 706.295.6051

For additional information about OJT for Seniors aged 50 and older, contact Mercy Senior Care,  Rome, 706.291.8496


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Revised: Friday, 14 November 2008 11:42 AM