WIOA Program Helps Veteran Find Success

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program is one of the services offered through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Workforce Development Program at the Southwestern Commission. OJT provides wage reimbursements for eligible job candidates. Workforce Development and NCWorks Career Centers staff conduct customized candidate skills assessments, analyze a job’s skill requirements, develop a skills gap analysis and collaboratively develop individual training plans. Companies train new hires in their own way. Companies may be reimbursed for up to 50% or more of the new hire’s wages for up to 6 months.

The following OJT success story was written by Susan Waldorf, WIOA Specialist in the NCWorks Career Center in Macon County (Macon Program for Progress is the contractor of record for WIOA Adult/Dislocated Programs in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties):

Jim Shannon, retired U.S. Army veteran, is Macon County’s most recent successful On-the-Job Training employee. He rises early four mornings a week to drive to Murphy, NC, for ten-hour days where he has trained for the past four months as a manufacturing assembler for an aerospace and tech company. Jim was employed at a number of temporary employments while searching for his permanent employment after leaving the military.

Often, men and women leaving the military struggle to match the skills and talents they acquired during their military service as they transition into the life as a civilian. Jim came to the Macon County NCWorks Career Center for help and was determined to be a great candidate for OJT with Aegis Power Systems, Inc. As with the hire of most veterans, the company who hires a veteran also is eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, free to employers who hire individuals within special groups.

Aegis Power Systems, Inc. is a privately-held small business manufacturing rugged power supplies for defense, industrial, and heavy-duty applications. The company has won numerous awards for their technical designs and quality, including Northrop Grumman’s “Supplier Excellence Award’, a “Reliability in Quality” award from the U.S. Navy, and an “Outstanding Support Award” from Harris Corporation. As a veteran-founded company, they appreciate the opportunity to hire veterans and play an active role in the ongoing careers of former military personnel.

One of the unique aspects of On-the-Job Training is that it helps to match the right business with the right candidate. NCWorks provides a site visit and interviews both the employer and the potential employee to determine if an OJT appears to meet the target goals for both parties.

As Jim approaches his final OJT evaluation, he says, “Everything is going really great at work, I’m very happy with how things have gone. I feel that I have been incorporated to the workplace very positively. I am very busy with my job, including being very involved in various professional development classes…, which really gives me a feeling of the company investing in me.”

Aegis, happy with the process of Jim’s hire and OJT experience, has requested a repeat for a second OJT position for their front office position. This is often the case as Macon County now has seven repeat requests for the On-the-Job Training for its small businesses. When good things happen, why not do it again!