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On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a federal subsidy for employers who train qualifying new hires to bridge skill gaps for the position. The OJT agreement reimburses employers to compensate for the costs associated with upgrading the skills of newly hired employees and the lost production of current employees providing the training (including management staff). The training program can assist employers who are looking to expand their businesses and who need additional staff trained with specialized skills.

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  • Opportunity to hire talent that needs additional training to perform the role
  • Employers may receive up to 50% reimbursement of the trainee’s wages to assist with defraying personnel training costs
  • Maximum reimbursement is up to $10,000 per trainee, if position is a high-demand occupation as designated by the Workforce Development Board, or up to $3,500 per trainee
  • Maximum training period is six months
  • Employer designs the training program based on new hires’ qualifications
  • New hire must enroll in the WIOA program, which may include unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 to 24; an eligible individual must be enrolled by a designated service provider

Workforce Santa Cruz County (WSCC) can provide employers with entry-level and skilled candidate referrals for the OJT program or employers may also contact WSCC with a candidate to verify if the candidate will qualify for the WIOA program prior to hire. The OJT program works for employers of all sizes and industries who plan to retain the trainee upon successful completion of the OJT program.

The employer will hire the OJT trainee as a full-time employee (at least 30 hours a week). The employer pays the trainee for the regular hours worked and the employer will be reimbursed 50% of the trainee’s wages. OJT employees cannot replace positions that have been or will be laid off. WSCC will work with the employer to develop a training plan that focuses on the key skills necessary to perform the job. The training will take place as part of the employee’s regular workday. The training program period is typically about three to six months. At the successful completion of the training period, the employer will retain the trainee as a regular employee. WSCC will monitor the trainee’s employment status with the employer for 12 months.

Contact: For more information about the On-the-Job Training program, please contact the Business Services Manager via email at

On-the-Job Training Hiring Process

Employer Identifies OJT Positions

Employer Sets Candidate Training Plan

Employer Identifies Candidate or WSCC Refers Candidate

WSCC Prepares OJT Contract and Employer Signs

Employer Pre-Contract Award Check by WSCC

Employer Hires OJT Trainee and Training Begins

Candidate Enrolls in WIOA

Employer Submits Reimbursement Claims with 12-Month Monitoring Period

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