CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County recognizes that sometimes the only thing keeping an employer from hiring a promising job candidate is that candidate’s lack of field training.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is pleased to announce that the One-Stop Career Center and the State of New Jersey are teaming in support of a limited time program that would make funds available to Mercer County businesses for on-the-job training (OJT) costs for employees. Depending on the size of the company, it may be eligible for up to 90 percent in salary reimbursement for the first six weeks to six months that a new employee is hired.

“In a difficult economy, employers have let it be known that the resources necessary to train potentially great employees are just not available. This program will assist business owners by providing funding to train workers, thereby creating a well-qualified workforce,” Hughes said.

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) program allows for a qualified business to receive up to 50 percent in employee wage reimbursement for up to the first six months that an individual is employed.  Recently, the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center has been able to enhance the program incentives based on a sliding scale of total employees.  For example, a business that has fewer than 50 employees is now eligible for 90 percent salary reimbursement for all new qualified employees during the training period which can be the first six weeks to the first six months of employment.  For those businesses between 51 to 250 employees, the salary reimbursement will be up to 75 percent and for businesses above 250 employees 50 percent. All employers are eligible for up to $4,000 in reimbursement costs per employee during the training period.  Regardless of the size of the company, this is a tremendous opportunity to save big on new employee costs.

Specifically, the OJT program provides financial assistance to offset an employer’s cost for training a new employee. The length of the OJT contract depends on the complexity of the job to be learned and the skill level of the individual. OJT requires that the position be for full-time permanent employment with a starting salary at a minimum of $8 per hour based on a 35- or 40-hour work week. All OJT trainees must be determined to be eligible consistent with Workforce Investment Act and other regulations prior to the start of the contract. In addition, the company must adhere to the following requirements in order to receive full reimbursement: 
  • OJT trainee must complete the full training period and continue employment after training to qualify the employer for full reimbursement.
  • The employer is required to maintain performance evaluations, attendance and payroll records.
  • The OJT trainee must receive the same wages & benefits as those in comparable positions. In addition, the company may not have had any layoffs for at least 120 days prior to the commencement of the contract.
  • The OJT contract must be in place prior to the new employee starting their position.

For more information, contact Business Services Manager Kassia Switlik Bukosky at the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center at (609) 989-6201 or email her at kbukosky@mercercounty.org.