On-The-Job Training (OJT)

What is On-The-Job Training?

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a program funded through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and delivered through Workforce Snohomish. OJT provides reimbursement to businesses to help compensate for the costs associated with training newly hired employees and upgrading the skills of current employees.

OJT programs can assist businesses who are looking to expand or who need additional staff trained with specialized skills. OJT programs also provide an excellent opportunity for individuals to build or update their skills and/or establish themselves in emerging high-demand fields, providing an incentive for businesses to hire individuals and invest in their skill development.

OJT is defined as training by an employer that is provided to a paid participant while engaged in productive work in a job that:

In an OJT program, the business is generally the entity providing the training, which helps to ensure all training is relevant to the job into which the participant is placed. In some instances, however, the employer offering the OJT, may require the participant to receive additional training, if the position requires it, e.g. more specialized IT skills. In such cases, an outside training provider may be hired.

What’s in it for my company?

Are there any restrictions?

Yes, there are. For example-

The Business Solution Consultant at Workforce Snohomish can assist you in determining your company’s eligibility.

Can companies rehire one of their previously released (laid off) employees?

Yes, a business can re-hire a previous employee but it must be for a different position for which they would need training and the candidate must meet the requirements.

Who selects the OJT participants?

As the OJT employer, your company will determine the selection criteria for OJT participants (e.g., “greater than 8th grade math ability,” “English-Spanish bilingual ability,” or any other applicable criteria). Then, Workforce Snohomish will identify those participants who meet the criteria and will refer them to your company. Your company will decide the final selection of OJT participants.

What if an employer has already selected a candidate for OJT training?

If an employer has already selected a candidate AND the candidate is approved by OJT staff as eligible, Workforce Snohomish can set up an OJT with the employer candidate.

How do we get the process started?

A standardized OJT contract will be completed with your company. That contract will contain all of the terms of the agreement for both Workforce Snohomish and your company. With this contract in place, we will start to identify and screen candidates for your company’s position(s).

How long will the process take to get the OJT approved?

This process will not take much longer than hiring a non-OJT employee. In order to ensure that your needs are met, the process of writing and negotiating the contract and establishing a training plan for the individual could take up to a few weeks. The individual can be hired effective the date of the award letter.

Who should I contact at Workforce Snohomish about applying for OJT funding?


Ty Reed
Assistant Director of Business Engagement
Workforce Snohomish


OJT funds provide reimbursements to businesses of up to 50% of the wage rate of OJT participants to help defray the personnel training costs of new employees. Reimbursements cannot be made for work performed outside the term of the contract or during periods of work stoppage (e.g., strikes, holidays, vacation, sick leave, weather, or other emergency-related closing), overtime, shift differential, premium pay and other non-regular wages. This does not preclude a participant from working such hours, only for reimbursing the business based on these activities.

Each month, the employer must submit a completed invoice to the Economic Security Department, which documents the hours worked by the Employee and the wages paid by the Business, and include a brief update on the Employee's progress and any difficulties that are affecting the training. The invoice will be signed by the Business and the OJT Employee. Upon verification of each invoice, the Business will receive a reimbursement of gross wages computed on the contracted hourly wage and reimbursement rates. Monthly monitoring of the training and invoicing for Business reimbursement continue until the end date of the contract or until the completing of the contracted hours of training.

Employers or Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors in the public, private non-profit, or private sectors providing an OJT contract receive reimbursement for the extraordinary costs of training. These costs include the provision of occupational training as well as supervision of a new employee. An agreement with the employer specifies the duration of training as well as the skills and competencies to be acquired by the participant. WIOA also allows both Individual Training Accounts (ITA) and OJT funds to be used when placing participants into a Registered Apprenticeship program or with a training provider.

A single contract may be used for several OJT trainees with a single business, provided the working conditions, job description, training plan, wage rates, and terms of the contract are the same for all participants covered by the contract.

General Terms & Conditions:

The Business will keep records for the employee(s) including:

Note: All Employee records are subject to audit and must be retained for three (3) years after completion of contract and Employer must provide ESD access to these records if requested.

The Business shall provide employee with:

No currently employed worker may be displaced by an OJT participant (including partial displacements such as a reduction in the hours of non¬-overtime work, wages or employment benefits.) No OJT employee shall be employed or job opening filled when any other individual is on layoff from the same or any substantially equivalent job or when the employer has terminated the employment of any regular employee or otherwise reduced its workforce. No training position can be created which infringes upon the promotional opportunities of current employees. The Business must intend to retain the employee upon satisfactory completion of training.

Employees shall not receive less than the Federal Minimum Wage as authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act and its amendments. Employees shall be paid at the same rate as other persons similarly employed by the Business, including periodic raises. Employee wages must be paid by check. Cash or "in-¬kind" payments are not acceptable.

The Business agrees to comply with appropriate safety and health standards as defined in the Federal Occupational and Health Safety Act (Public Law 91¬596) and Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (RCW 49.17), and rules and regulations adopted under its authority.