4.3 On the Job Training (OJT)

(Fully countable core)

Legal References:

The On-the-Job Training section includes:

  • 4.3.1 What is Career Scope On The Job training?
  • 4.3.2 What are Career Scope services-OJT standards?
  • 4.3.3 How is employer participation and reimbursement determined?
  • 4.3.4 How is monitoring progress conducted?
  • 4.3.5 What are wage progression Career Scope services OJT Standards?
  • 4.3.6 What are Career Scope services OJT Limitations?
  • 4.3.7 What is release time training?
  • 4.3.8 How are records maintained?
  • 4.3.9 eJAS Codes
  • 4.3.10 Career Scope services OJT - Step-by-Step Guide

4.3.1 What is Career Scope Services - OJT?

On-the-Job Training (OJT) offers the opportunity for full-time subsidized employment for participant receiving cash assistance. OJTs provide skills training on site with an employer. OJTs may also be combined with formal classroom or skills training. The goal of an OJT is prepare a participant for full-time employment and transition off cash assistance.

Full-time is defined as 32 - 40 hours a week. The WorkFirst program authorizes the creation of two types of full-time OJTs:

  1. The first allows a participant to learn new skills in a new job.
  2. The second offers wage progression by increasing skills to move a participant into a new job with the participant's existing employer or with a new employer.

See WFHB 1.2.3 for additional information about adding an additional three hours (preferably core activity hours) in the parent’s IRP when possible. When a parent has 20 hours of unsubsidized employment (or 30 hours for a two-parent family) this will meet the core activity requirement.   For two-parent families or single parents with no children under six in this situation, consider adding non-core activities to meet the strengthened participation requirements.

Employers eligible to participate in OJTs are:

  • Private companies or corporations
  • Non-profit companies or corporations
  • Public agencies (only if a participant cannot access their own records)

4.3.2 What are Career Scope Services - OJT Standards?

  • WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions , and the On-The-Job Training Contract outline the requirements and limitations of the On-The-Job Training. The WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement, and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions are agreements between a local office and a specific employer to conduct training.
  • Write the OJT contract for occupations with a high potential for sustained demand or growth.
  • Contract for wages at $12.00 an hour or more. (Offices may establish higher wage standards for their local area). There is an Exception to the Rule (ETR) process to request approval for wage starting less than $12 per hour.  An Exception to the Rule must be submitted using the ESD Rule Exception Request Form to the ESD WorkFirst Administration Unit and approved prior to starting the OJT. The exceptions to the rule are as follow:

    There are four (4) options to request an OJT ETR to approve less than $12 per hour wage. Note: Should the employer offer one or any combination of the following, the $12 per hour wage may be waived.  Those options include:

    • Employer provides medical coverage
    • Employer provides dental coverage
    • Employer provides retirement benefits 
    • Employer offers a defined career pathway with set wage increase milestones (to be included in the OJT ETR request).
  • Write all OTJ contracts for full time work. Full time work is defined as 32-40 hours a week.
  • Write OJTs for up to twelve weeks depending on time needed to learn skills
  • Reimburse an employer for up to and including 50% of the total gross wages.
  • Reimburse for regular work hours only, no holiday or vacation hours.
  • Reimburse pre-approved release hours for classroom or skills training at 50% of the initial starting wage.
  • Build all wage increases into the original OJT contract.
  • List specific occupational skills the employer will teach.
  • Meet wage progression standards (listed below- 4.3.5) for a wage progression OJT.
  • Do not write OJT contracts for occupations with other available funding sources, such as certified Nurse Aides.
  • Apprenticeship positions are not appropriate for OJTs because the apprenticeship is already a training position.
  • Meet all the standards, limitations and general conditions as outlined in the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions .
  • Obtain an approved Exception to the Rule for any exception to WorkFirst policy.
  • Start training only after the Employment Security Department (ESD) Career Scope supervisor, Career Scope coach and the employer sign the On-The-Job Training contract, the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement, and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions,

The Career Scope supervisor reviews the OJT contract to ensure it:

The ESD Career Scope supervisor documents the review and justification for the contract in eJAS employment type notes.

After the ESD Career Scope supervisor reviews and approves the contract and documents the review in eJAS employment notes, they sign the On-The-Job Training contract, the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement , and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions. Then the Career Scope coach and employer sign each document.

Within three business days of obtaining all signatures, send a copy of the OJT contract package to the ESD WorkFirst Administration Unit. The package contains the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master AgreementWorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions, and the OJT contract.

When participants report their OJT earnings and hours to DSHS, their WorkFirst Program Specialist (WFPS) records the participant's actual hours of participation by updating the ACES EARN screen.

4.3.3 How is Employer Participation and Reimbursement Determined?

  • Determine if WorkFirst may enter into a contract with an employer.
  • Have the employer read and sign the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement , and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions. The WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement , and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions are agreements between a local office and a specific employer to conduct training.
  • Involve the employer in the OJT development by explaining the purpose of the OJT and the employer's training responsibilities.
  • Ensure the employer will provide sufficient supervision for the participant to learn the contracted skills.
  • Inquire about the number of subsidized workers and unsubsidized workers the employer currently employs. An employer may not receive subsidies for more than 25% or 1 in 4 of the employer's workforce. (In figuring consider all programs that may subsidize workers, such as WIA, Veteran programs or Commerce's Community Jobs program.) To contract with a company above the 25% level requires an approved Exception to the Rule (ETR).
  • Involve employers in the OJT development so they understand the purpose of the OJT and their training responsibilities.
  • Consult with both the employer and participant about progress (listed in 4.3.4.below).
  • Support all employer reimbursements with copies of time and payroll records.
  • Obtain copies of the timesheets signed by both the employer and the participant.
  • Attach copies of the time sheets and payroll records to the voucher for employer reimbursement.
  • If the OJT employer fails to pay the employee wages or the employee's paycheck fails to clear the bank due to insufficient funds, WorkFirst funds must not be used to compensate for the loss of pay. Wage issues should be taken to the Labor and Industries Wage Board.

4.3.4 How is monitoring progress conducted?

A Career Scope coach monitors the employee's progress regularly. A Career Scope coach visits the worksite to ensure all OJT training objectives are met and all parties remain satisfied with progress.

  • A Career Scope Coach makes on-site visits at the worksite during the 1 st , 3 rd , 7 th and 11 th week (according to the length of the OJT.)
  • Visits may be more often if the employer and the ESD Career Scope coach agree.
  • Within three working days after each visit, record an "Employment" type note in eJAS documenting at a minimum the following items:
    • Progress towards meeting the OJT goals as stated by both the employer and the participant
    • Any concerns along with solutions raised by the employer or employee
    • Reason for ending an OJT early

4.3.5 What are wage progression Career Scope Services OJT Standards?

Use a wage progression Career Scope services OJT when a participant has the opportunity to increase his or her earning potential. When the contract is created, the participant must still receive WorkFirst cash assistance.

A wage progression Career Scope services OJT must meet the following conditions:

  • Allows an employed participant to exit WorkFirst cash assistance with a better job.
  • Successfully places a participant in a full-time job with increased wages and benefits
  • Places the participant with a different employer or in a new job with their current employer.
  • Provides training to obtain key job skills essential to attaining the wage progression.

4.3.6 What are Career Scope Services OJT Limitations?

Refer to WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Contract Terms and Conditions for a complete list of employer expectations and limitations.

4.3.7 What is release time training?

Release time training is classroom or skills training provided by someone other than the employer. A community college or professional organization may provide this training. Employers receive 50% reimbursement for wages during the hours a participant is in this release time training. No more than 25% of the total contracted hours may be for release time training. Support service funds may cover the cost of the release time training and for any books or related supplies needed.

4.3.8 How are records maintained?

Maintain the signed original WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement , WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions and On-The- Job Training Contract in the local office until one quarter after the program year ends. Then the office may archive the OJT documents for six years.

4.3.9 eJAS Codes

  • OT (On-the-Job Training)

4.3.10 Career Scope Services OJT - Step-by-step guide

  1. The Career Scope coach:
    1. Interviews an eligible participant who may benefit from OJT.
    2. Discusses possibility of an OJT for an eligible participant with an employer.
    3. Talks with the employer approving authority about work site standards, limitations and general conditions. Have the employer sign the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreements and WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions.
    4. Figures percentage of subsidized employees for the employer. (Listed above in 4.3.3.)
    5. Obtains an approved Exception to the Rule from ESD WorkFirst Administration Unit for any exception to WorkFirst policy.
    6. Negotiates expectations, length, content and employer reimbursement regarding the proposed OJT with the employer and employee.
    7. Determines justification for training. Document the justification in eJAS employment notes.
    8. Determines whether the prospective OJT employer is an established vendor in the automated system, and, if not completes a Statewide Payee and W-9 IRS Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification form (accessible online through the Inside ESD Website eforms).
    9. Determines whether a Master Agreement Number exists and is current in JAS. If no Master Agreement Number exists, follow this procedure:
      1. Make sure you have the signed a WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreements and WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions from the employer. (See step 3 above.)
      2. Creates the Master Agreement Number in JAS. (Consult ESD WF Internal Controls chapter on On-The-Job Contracts found in CATS for the procedure).
    10. Closes the JS component.
    11. Enters the OT component code and employment information in eJAS. The OT component may be entered for a future date. The OT component dates automatically fill as the start and end date on the OJT Training contract in JAS.
    12. Creates the contract in JAS. (Consult the ESD WF Internal Controls chapter regarding On-The-Job Contracts.)
    13. Prints 4 copies of the OJT contract.
    14. Prints all vouchers for the contract period.
    15. Prints all WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Evaluation Forms for the contract period.
    16. The Career Scope supervisor reviews and then documents the review and justification for the contract in eJAS employment type notes.
    17. After the Career Scope supervisor reviews and approves the contract and also documents the review, they sign the WF On-The-Job Training contract, the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement, and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions. Then the Career Scope coach and employer sign each document.
    18. Delivers copies of vouchers and evaluation forms to the employer along with the individual's contract.
    19. Records the service in SKIES as well as the employment information.
    20. Notifies the WorkFirst Program Specialist (WFPS) that an OJT has been created.
    21. Informs the participant to report earnings to their WFPS.
    22. Monitors the individual's performance. (see 4.3.4 above)
    23. Provides support services when necessary.
    24. For details on creating and modifying OJT contracts and creating and modifying OJT vouchers, refer to the ESD WF Internal Controls Manual.
    25. Within three business days of obtaining all signatures, sends copies of the On-The-Job Training Contract, the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master Agreement , and the WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions to ECDD, attn: WorkFirst OJT, PO Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046.
    26. Maintains the signed original WorkFirst On-The-Job Training Master AgreementWorkFirst On-The-Job Training Terms and Conditions and On-The- Job Training Contract in the local office until one quarter after the program year ends. Then the office may archive the OJT documents for six years.
  2. The WorkFirst Program Specialist:
    1. Enters the earnings in ACES.

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