By Sharon Mims
The WorkSource Heart of Georgia Altamaha Workforce Development Area includes the counties of Appling, Bleckley, Candler, Dodge, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, Wilcox and Wheeler.
This area receives Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds (federal Department of Labor funds set aside for employment-related services) for the 17 counties to provide On-The-Job, Youth Services and Individual Training Accounts programs.
One-Stop information centers
The One-Stop System is designed to provide a variety of services to assist individuals in meeting their employment and training needs while also assisting local employers to meet their needs for qualified personnel.
The customers are able to apply for WIOA programs and have access to employment and training-related resources including computer labs, copiers, fax machines, etc. These resources can be used for job searching, completing online job applications, schoolwork or related tasks, to include online access to unemployment claims/information and public assistance, such as Medicaid, TANF and Food Stamps.
The One-Stops also provide a location for employers to find qualified workers to potentially hire and post job listings.
There is always at least one WIOA staff member available in the One-Stop during the hours of operation.
Eligibility requirements apply to all customers who enroll in WIOA training programs.
•On-the-Job Training (OJT) allows our customers to work, earning a full paycheck from their employer while entering the job without all of the specific skills and/or knowledge needed to do the work.
WIOA funds reimburse the employers up to 50 percent for customers’ wages to compensate the employer for the time and extraordinary effort it takes to train the unskilled worker to do the job.
After completion of a detailed training plan, if the employee has successfully completed training and learned the skills needed, the employer retains the “OJT” worker, and the subsidy ends. This allows the worker to earn a paycheck while learning new skills and provides the employer with an employee trained “their way” while being compensated for the time it takes to train the new employee. The employer is asked to monitor the employee’s progress and complete an evaluation at the end of the training.
A service specialist is assigned to work with the employer and the customer and will assist in explaining and completing all the necessary paperwork. The service specialist is there to assist both the employer and the OJT customer should any problems arise.
•Individual Training Accounts (ITA) allow individuals to receive training from eligible training providers, such as local technical colleges. WIOA funds may pay for the remaining balance of tuition and books after the HOPE and Pell grants are exhausted. If the customer is not eligible for HOPE and Pell, WIOA may pay for tuition and books. ITA customers may also receive support payments for transportation and child care.
ITA customers must maintain a full-time class schedule and a GPA of at least 2.5. No customer is allowed to “sit out” a semester.
A service specialist is assigned to work with the school and the customer and will assist in explaining and completing all the necessary paperwork. The service specialist is there to assist both the college and the ITA customer should any problems arise.
•The year-round youth program is designed to better equip youth with the ability to obtain and maintain employment. The youth program provides services to in-school and out-of-school youth. Case managers are responsible for selecting youth, counseling youth, overseeing their academics, and helping them set goals and work toward a successful career. The case managers also work closely with schools, colleges, technical colleges, community agencies and employers.
Case managers assist the youth with learning time management, communication skills, business etiquette and proper work ethics. In-school youth are encouraged to remain in school and are provided with tutoring if needed to complete high school and obtain their high school diploma or its equivalent. Out-of-school youth receive supportive services while attending an educational program to attend and complete training in order to obtain an occupational skills certification or credential. Youth may also be eligible to earn money through work experience.
The youth program guides youth to ensure they complete an educational program, gain work-related skills, and enter college or become successfully employed.
For additional information contact Job Training Unlimited Inc. at (912) 739-7158 or 1-800-503-0204 or at www.region9wib.org.