WIOAPL 15-22 (On-the-Job Training [OJT] Policy)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy
Letter No. 15-22
April 19, 2016
To: Local Workforce Development Boards (WDB),
Fiscal Agents, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
From: The Office of Legal and Acquisition
Subject: On-the-Job Training (OJT) Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the
local workforce development areas when providing OJTs to
adult, dislocated worker, and youth participants with
II. Effective Date
Through OJT activities provided under the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), adult, dislocated
worker, and youth participants can obtain the skill sets
necessary to fill the jobs that are available and are being
created in this economy. OJT is a type of training that is
provided by an employer to a participant. During the
training, the participant is engaged in productive work in
a job for which he or she is paid, and the training
provides knowledge or skills necessary to the full and
adequate performance of the job. Employers must commit to
hire and retain the participant at the end of a successful
training period. OJT activities support the development of
a workforce with skills that meet the needs of employers
and provide additional training options for workers and
employers. OJT provides an incentive to employers to hire
individuals and invest in their skill development, and
trainees can earn a wage as they learn. It is a critical
tool that helps job seekers enter successful employment.
Detailed procedural guidelines are found in the On-the-Job
Training Guidance Manual. This manual is updated as needed
to reflect any necessary changes in implementation OJTs.
Copies are available online at http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/wia/Docs/OJT-Procedures-Manual.pdf .
Displaced homemaker : An
individual who has been providing unpaid services to family
members in the home and who:
1. Is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing
difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment;
2. Has been dependent on the income of another family
member, but is no longer supported by that income;
3. Is the dependent spouse of a member of the Armed
Forces on active duty (as defined in section 101(d)(1) of
title 10, United States Code) and whose family income is
significantly reduced because of a deployment (as defined
in section 991(b) of title 10, United States Code, or
pursuant to paragraph (4) of such section); a call or order
to active duty pursuant to a provision of law referred to
in section 101(a)(13)(B) of title 10, United States Code; a
permanent change of station; or a service-connected (as
defined in section 101(16) of title 38, United States Code)
death or disability.
Individuals with barriers to
employment : a member of one or more of the following
1. Displaced homemakers;
2. Low-income individuals;
3. Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, as
such terms are defined in section 166 of WIOA;
4. Individuals with disabilities, including youth who
are individuals with disabilities;
5. Older individuals;
7. Homeless individuals or homeless children and
8. Youth who are in or have aged out of foster care;
9. Individuals who are English language learners,
individuals who have low levels of literacy, and
individuals facing substantial cultural barriers;
10. Eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers;
11. Individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime
12. Single parents (including single pregnant women);
13. Long-term unemployed individuals; and
14. Such other groups the State determines to have
barriers to employment.
Individual with a
disability : an individual with a disability as
defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102).
Homeless children and youth
(section 725 (2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance
Act) : An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence and includes the following:
1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of
other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or
a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer
parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative
adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or
transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are
awaiting foster care placement;
2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime
residence that is a public or private place not designed
for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation
for human beings;
3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks,
public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing,
bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the
purpose because the children are living in one of the
previously mentioned circumstances.
Homeless individual (as defined in
section 41403(6) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994
(42 U.S.C. 14043e-2(6)) : An individual who lacks a
fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and
1. An individual who:
a. Is sharing the housing of other persons due to
loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason:
b. Is living in a motel, hotel, trailer park, or
campground due to the lack of alternative adequate
c. Is living in an emergency or transitional shelter;
d. Is abandoned in a hospital; or
e. Is awaiting foster care placement.
2. An individual who has a primary nighttime
residence that is a public or private place not designed
for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation
for human beings; or
3. Migratory children who qualify as homeless because
the children are living in circumstances listed above.
Low-income individual : As
defined in section 3 (36)(a) of WIOA, an individual who –
1. Receives, or in the past 6 months has received, or
is a member of a family that is receiving or in the past 6
months has received, assistance through the supplemental
nutrition assistance program (SNAP), temporary assistance
for needy families (TANF), or the supplemental security
income (SSI) or local income-based public assistance;
2. Is in a family with total family income that does
not exceed the higher of –
a. The poverty line; or
b. 70% of the lower living standard income level.
3. Is a homeless individual;
4. Receives or is eligible to receive a free or
reduced price lunch;
5. Is a foster child on behalf of whom the State or
local government payments are made; or
6. Is an individual with a disability whose own
income meets the eligibility income requirement of clause
(2)(b) but who is a member of a family whose income does
not meet this requirement.
On-the-job training :
training by an employer that is provided to a paid
participant while engaged in productive work in a job that:
1. Provides knowledge or skills essential to the full
and adequate performance of the job;
2. Is made available through a program that provides
reimbursement to the employer of up to 50% of the wage rate
of the participant, except as provided in section
134(c)(3)(H), for extraordinary costs of providing the
training and additional supervision related to training;
3. Is limited in duration as appropriate to the
occupation for which the participant is being trained,
taking into account the content of the training, the prior
work experience of the participant, and the service
strategy of the participant, as appropriate.
Planning region : two or
more local workforce development areas assigned by the
State to align workforce development activities and
resources with larger regional economic development areas
and available resources to provide coordinated and
efficient services to both job seekers and employers.
A. Participant Eligibility for an OJT
WIOA-funded OJT is available for eligible WIOA youth and
unemployed or under-employed adult and dislocated workers.
Employed workers may be eligible for WIOA-funded OJTs when
the employee is not earning a self-sufficient wage as
determined by the local workforce development area.
Participants who have completed occupational skills
training via an individual training account (ITA) may be
considered for OJT if it creates an opportunity for the
participant to become employed.
As outlined in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Policy Letter (WIOAPL) No. 15-09, Training Services for Adults and Dislocated
Worker , and WIOAPL No. 15-10, Youth Program Services , training
services may be provided to adults and dislocated workers,
and youth participants if, after an interview, evaluation,
or assessment and career planning, the participant has been
determined to have the skills and qualifications to
successfully participate in an OJT. WIOA in-school youth
aged 14-21 years may qualify for OJT, although such
training may not be an appropriate activity for in-school
youth whose individual service strategy (ISS) may be geared
toward completion of secondary or postsecondary education
instead of employment.
OJT participants must receive wages, benefits, and working
conditions that are equal to those provided to regular
employees who have worked a similar length of time and are
doing the same type of work. Appropriate workers
compensation insurance protection must also be provided to
all OJT participants by the employer.
OJT participants are not eligible to receive Needs Related
Payments (NRPs) and cannot be immediate family members of
the business owner or direct supervisor. Refer to the
On-The-Job Training Guidance Manual for the different
situations in which OJT-related conflict of interest may
B. Employer Eligibility for an OJT
OJT is provided under an agreement with an employer in the
public, private non-profit, or private for-profit sector to
WIOA eligible participants. Careful consideration should be
given while selecting a participating employer. Potential
business functions to research before selecting an employer
include but are not limited to:
1. Working conditions (safety and health);
2. Presence of health benefits;
3. Wage structure;
4. Turnover rates;
5. Adequate staff and equipment to carry out the
6. Compliance with federal, state and local laws.
Private Placement Agencies
A private placement agency may, if all required OJT
criteria are met, be an eligible employer for WIOA-funded
OJTs. Local workforce development areas must develop policy
on OJTs with private placement agencies (e.g. OJTs in
scenarios of "temp," "temp to hire" or continued long-term
Refer to the On-The-Job Training Guidance Manual for
factors to be considered before writing OJT agreements with
a private placement agency.
Employers will be disqualified from participating in the
OJT program in the following situations:
1. Businesses must not be presently debarred,
suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible, or
voluntarily excluded from participation in transactions by
USDOL or the State of Ohio. Below are three websites that
may be helpful in checking tax, environmental compliance,
and debarment status.
Federal Debarment Site: http://www.sam.gov
Ohio Department of Taxation: http://www.tax.ohio.gov
Business Filing Search: http://www.sos.state.oh.us
2. Businesses must not have any outstanding tax
liability for over six months to the state of Ohio. WDBs
will require the businesses to disclose any known
outstanding tax liabilities with Ohio and other states
prior to entering into contract. The local WDB may consider
existing out-of-state violations when determining
eligibility to receive OJT funds. The local WDB must
document any resolution of outstanding tax liability, which
may include letters from the business or from the State
from which the tax liability occurred.
3. Businesses must not have any outstanding civil,
criminal or administrative fines or penalties owed to or
pending in the state of Ohio.
4. The local workforce development board (WDB) must
not enter into an agreement with an employer who has
previously exhibited a pattern of failing to provide OJT
participants with continued long-term employment.
5. The employer must comply with all applicable
federal, state, local laws and regulations related to
providing reasonable working conditions. OJT participants
are not permitted to train or work in buildings or
surroundings under working conditions that are unsanitary,
hazardous, or dangerous to the trainee's health or safety.
6. If during completion of the employer information
form, it is determined that a business has relocated from
one U.S. labor market to another and caused dislocation at
the original location, OJTs may be available at the new
location only after the business has conducted work at the
new location for more than 120 days. Refer to the
On-The-Job Training Guidance
Manual for factors to be considered in determining
whether business relocation has occurred.
To verify that a business is not relocating employment from
another area, a pre-award review must be undertaken and
documented by the local WDB. The review must include the
names under which the establishment conducts business,
including predecessors and successors in interest; the
name, title, and address of the company official certifying
the information, and whether WIOA assistance is being
sought in connection with past or impending job losses at
other facilities of their company. The pre-award review
should also include a review of whether appropriate notices
have been filed, as required by the Worker Adjustment
Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The review may also
include consultations with labor organizations and others
in the affected local area(s).
7. Absent a clear and applicable layoff definition
within a collective bargaining agreement or personnel
policy governing a local operation, a layoff is defined as
termination with the intent to recall. A laid off employee
who refuses a recall request is no longer considered to be
in layoff status. Layoff recall rights will last six months
from the last day of work prior to the layoff.
If the employer has laid off someone from a similar or
"substantially equivalent" work at the same local
operation, no OJT or other subsidized employment is
permitted. The work is considered substantially equivalent
if the overlap between the work (duties and job titles) is
80% or greater. If more than one person is laid off from a
substantially equivalent job, and all these persons worked
their last day more than six months before the training
plan begins, the OJT may proceed and the employer may be
reimbursed regardless of the previous layoffs.
8. Training positions covered may not have been
created by the displacement of an unsubsidized employee by
a WIOA subsidized employee. This includes partial
displacement such as reduction in the hours of non-overtime
work, wages, or employment benefits. There is no
requirement for the job to be similar or substantially
equivalent. The key is employer intent: if an unsubsidized
employee's earnings are reduced by hiring a WIOA subsidized
participant to offset the lost productivity, it is
Prohibited OJT Activities
The following types of activities are prohibited from OJTs:
Sectarian activities: Funds provided to employers for OJT
may not be used to employ the participant/trainee in a
position involving political or sectarian activities.
Furthermore, OJT participants may not assist, promote or
deter union organizing, or engage in political activities
during work hours.
Religious activities: OJT participants are prohibited from
being employed in the construction, operation, or
maintenance of any facility which is used for religious
instruction or worship.
C. Employer Reimbursement
OJT training payments to employers are deemed to be
compensation for the extraordinary costs associated with
training a participant and his/her potentially lower
productivity. Employers are to be reimbursed up to 50% of
the wage rate of an OJT participant.
Pursuant to 20 CFR 680.730, the local WDB, through policy
established by the planning region, may increase the
reimbursement rate for OJT contracts up to 75%, when taking
into account the following factors:
1. The characteristics of the participants taking
into account whether they are "individuals with barriers to
2. The size of the employer with emphasis on small
3. The quality of the employer-provided training and
advancement opportunities, for example if the OJT contract
is for an in-demand occupation and will lead to an
industry-recognized credential; and
4. Other factors the planning region may determine
appropriate, which may include number of employees
participating, wages and benefit levels of the employees
(both at present and after completion), and relation of the
training to the competitiveness of the participant.
Local WDBs, through the planning region's policy, must
document the factors used when deciding to increase the
wage reimbursement levels above 50% up to 75%.
D. Registered Apprenticeship
OJT contracts may be written with registered apprenticeship
programs or participating employers in registered
apprenticeship programs for the OJT portion of the
registered apprenticeship program. Depending on the length
of the registered apprenticeship and State and local
policies, these funds may cover some or all of the
registered apprenticeship training.
E. Coordination with Trade
Individuals who are eligible for training dollars under
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) are generally not
eligible for WIOA-funded OJTs (except in situations where
the cost exceeds the TAA program's ability to fund the
training, in which case WIOA funds can pay the portion of
the cost that exceeds the TAA maximum).
If a participant is already enrolled in a WIOA-funded OJT
and subsequently becomes eligible for funding through TAA,
the local workforce development area must determine whether
to continue funding the OJT with formula dollars or to fund
the remainder of the training with TAA funds based on the
If the WIOA-funded OJT uses a different wage reimbursement
rate than the Trade program's OJT policy allows, the
participant's OJT may continue to be funded by formula
dollars until completion;
If the WIOA-funded OJT uses a different payment point than
the Trade program's required OJT payment point, the
participant's OJT may continue to be funded by formula
dollars until completion;
If the WIOA-funded OJT uses the same wage reimbursement
rate and payment point as the Trade program OJT, the local
area must make arrangements for the remainder of the OJT to
be funded by TAA beginning at the next payment point. Local
areas must coordinate with Trade staff to develop a plan
for transitioning participants from one funding stream to
another without negatively affecting the employer or the
Regardless of whether participants remain in the
WIOA-funded OJT or transition to TAA funding, it is
required that the participant be co-enrolled in both the
WIOA-funded OJT and Trade programs and that the OJT be
approved under both programs (even if it is being fully
funded by formula dollars) to ensure the participant may
qualify for other associated Trade benefits and services.
The following types of forms must be completed for the
purposes of conducting OJTs. Forms that have an ODJFS Form
number contain all required information. However, these
forms may be modified by the local workforce development
area or planning region to meet the specific needs of that
local area or planning region. Any form modified by the
local workforce development area or planning region must
still include all the components of the corresponding ODJFS
form. If a local workforce development area or a planning
region adds more information to a form, it should be done
in a manner that the form is not overly burdensome to the
employer. All OJT forms must be retained for monitoring
purposes. For more information, refer to the On-the-Job Training Guidance Manual .
Employer Information Form
Prior to the placement of an OJT participant, an employer
pre-screening must be conducted and the JFS 80646,
On-the-Job Training Employer
Information form , or its locally or regionally
modified equivalent, must be completed to ensure that the
employer meets the minimum standards and can provide both
training and long-term employment to the OJT participant.
The On-the-Job Employer Information Form may be completed
once rather than each time an OJT is approved.
In case of a collective bargaining agreement, the
On-the-Job Training Employer Information form must identify
and the employer must provide a letter indicating union
concurrence before the OJT begins. The WIOA staff at the
local workforce development area is expected to contact the
employer's union representative if the job is under
bargaining unit authority.
The On-the-Job Training Employer Information form must be
1. If the business is sold or transferred;
2. If other significant changes affecting training,
hiring, or job retention occur; and
3. At least once a year from the date of issuance.
One JFS 80649, On-the-Job Training
Agreement , or its locally or regionally modified
equivalent, is required per employer regardless of the
number of participants trained or hired. The agreement may
be effective for a maximum period of one year and cover all
training plans approved with the employer prior to the
On-the-Job Training Agreement’s expiration date.
The OJT agreement, while establishing the reimbursement
procedures, remains non-financial in nature, and no money
is obligated until the training plan is approved for an
eligible participant. Moreover, in case a collective
bargaining agreement exists, the union must be a
co-signatory on the OJT agreement.
The OJT agreement should be modified before expiration only
if there are significant changes, such as layoffs or
changes in federal, state, and local rules and policies
pertaining to the implementation of OJTs
On-The-Job Training Plan
The JFS 80642, On-the-Job Training
Plan Local Workforce Agency , or its locally or
regionally modified equivalent, obligates training funds
for a participant and outlines the planned training
activities to be accomplished during the training period.
Unlike the OJT agreement, the training plan is required for
each participant. The On-the-Job Training Plan Local
Workforce Agency constitutes the financial obligation
between the agency or service provider and the employer,
and is the document which authorizes reimbursement of the
agreed upon amount after successful completion of the
training plan period (or the retention period, if
The duration of the OJT shall not exceed a maximum of 1,040
hours unless extenuating circumstances exist, in which case
appropriate documentation is required. The length of the
training considers several factors such as participants'
skills gap including prior work experience, the occupation
for which the participant is receiving training, the
content of training, and the service strategy of the
Exceptions for individuals with disabilities or other
significant barriers: OJT participants facing a significant
barrier to employment, such as a disability covered under
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), may be
considered for a longer training duration up to 50%
additional hours when compared to typical length of a
similar OJT, not exceeding a maximum of 1,560 hours.
The On-the-Job Training Plan Local Workforce Agency also
identifies the skills to be learned during the OJT. OJT
providers may base the identification of skills needed, as
well as the justification of training duration, upon the
Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and specific
vocational preparation (SVP), company job description,
input from the employer/supervisor, and/or other
appropriate data sources.
Payments to employers should be managed by an invoice
system that documents the number of hours worked by the OJT
participant and the hourly rate of pay.
Payment point procedures can be developed by the local
workforce development areas so long as the reimbursement
does not exceed 50% of wages. Local workforce development
areas also have discretion in determining if they wish to
withhold reimbursement for 30, 60 or 90 days to ensure
retention after the end of training. The State does not
mandate or prohibit OJT holdback tied to employment or
retention. However, local workforce development areas must
ensure that this information is reflected in the local
policy, the OJT agreement, and the OJT training plan.
During the WIOA-funded OJT, participants might also become
eligible for other funding streams, such as Trade
Adjustment Assistance (TAA), that would preclude their
receiving continued funding under the OJT. In such an
instance, local areas must develop a plan regarding payment
points and transitioning participants from one program to
another without negatively affecting the employer or the
The reimbursement base is regular "straight time" hours and
does not include commissions, overtime pay, holidays,
vacation, sick pay or pay for other hours not worked.
Further, payments to employers must be based on scheduled
raises and regular pay increases if they occur.
It is expected that OJT participants will be retained at
the completion of training.
Exception Request Form (if
There are times when an OJT participant or work conditions
may justify an exception to the original training plan.
Local areas should outline how exceptions or modifications
will be addressed in their local policies. Possible
exceptions or modifications to an OJT may include:
1. Extending the agreed upon length of OJT duration
as long as the mandated maximum number of hours are not
2. Adjusting the maximum or minimum number of
hours/week to accommodate a participant's learning or other
disability as long as mandated maximum number of hours are
3. Allowing employer reimbursement for training, even
when the participant fails to complete the training, if the
participant quit or was fired for just cause; and
4. Consideration for OJT participants who are
performing satisfactorily, have completed substantial
training and will be retained by an employer at the end of
the training period, but have not learned all the requisite
All exceptions must be documented on the JFS 80650,
On-the-Job Training Exception
Request , or its locally or regionally modified
equivalent, before the end date of the training plan. Also,
exceptions also must be documented in the participant's
Local workforce development areas are encouraged to develop
their own monitoring policies to outline the procedures,
frequency and manner in which OJTs will be monitored and
how staff persons/monitors will resolve any findings of
At a minimum, monitors should:
1. Document information received directly from the
2. Obtain the trainee supervisor's perspective about
the training progress; and
3. Review the employer payroll records.
The key monitoring issues include verifying and documenting
1. There was a need for training;
2. Training was provided to the participant;
3. The length of OJT training was reasonable;
4. The employer reimbursement rate complied with
5. Other applicable OJT rules and requirements were
All participants must be eligible, enrolled in WIOA, and
entered in Ohio's Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS).
Participants may also be co-enrolled in other state-funded
VIII. Technical Assistance
For additional information, you may send your questions to
ODJFS, Office of Workforce Development: WIAQNA@JFS.OHIO.GOV .
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §§ 134, 188,
Public Law 113-128.
NPRM § 680.700 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20860 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.700).
NPRM § 680.710 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20861 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.710).
NPRM § 680.720 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20861 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.720).
NPRM § 680.730 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20861 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.730).
NPRM § 680.740 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20861 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.740).
NPRM § 680.750 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20861 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 680.750).
NPRM § 683.275 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20882 (April 16, 2015)
(to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 683.275).
2 CFR Part 200, Appendix II
On-the-Job Training Guidance Manual (August 2014).
Investment Act Policy Letter No. 10-08.2 ,
On-the-Job Training (OJT) Comprehensive Policy, (March 6,