Grant dollars fund regional on-the-job training program | VailDaily.com

Grant dollars fund regional on-the-job training program

Enterprise staff report

Workforce Centers across Colorado’s Rural Resort Region have announced plans are in place to ramp up outreach efforts to notify out-of-work job seekers and employers about on-the-job training.

Grant dollars have been provided to the Workforce Center by the U.S. Department of Labor, designed to help workers update their job skills and acquire new skills so they can return to the job market.

These grant dollars also benefit employers in the Rural Resort Region (Lake, Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Summit Counties) who have long complained of a disconnect between the skills they need in workers and the skills they are finding in the workforce. These grant dollars help grow a skilled workforce, get people back to work and reduce turnover and training costs for businesses.

But the training funds for dislocated workers and the dollars will not be available to employers indefinitely. “As long as those dollars are available to our community, we need to take advantage of them,” said Rosemary Pettus, director of the Workforce Centers across the Rural Resort Region. “Our goal is to ensure that businesses benefit from these grant dollars while the funding remains available.”

On-the-job training grants are reimbursed directly to employers up to one-half of a trainee’s gross wages for the duration of the training period. The program can be customized for skilled and semi-skilled jobs and employers can use their own training to teach new employees, ensuring the program will deliver the results they need.

Included in the program for the employer is free screening, assessment and referrals of applicants. The employer makes the final hiring decision, determines job performance standards, and has the right to terminate a trainee if necessary.

“Our staff will assist employers through all phases of the program and we will provide prompt monthly payments with a minimum of paperwork,” Pettus said.

She urges local employers with staffing needs to contact a local Workforce Center for more information about the program and how it can strengthen businesses and the region’s skilled workforce.

To find the office nearest you, go to http://www.colorado.gov/cdle and click on “Find A Workforce Center.”