Pictured at the OJT meeting are Julie Gomez, Abby Manufacturing; Kim Wall, Ashley Furniture; Tony Elliott, Tippah Career and Technology Center; and Chas Goff, Profile.

RIPLEY • The Tippah County Development Foundation is teaming with Northeast Mississippi Community College to bring awareness to an on-the-job training reimbursement program offered to employers in the area.

The first employer meeting was held at the Ripley Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 9. Mark Tomlinson from Northeast Mississippi Community College’s WIN Job Center explained the program to several area industries.

With the on-the-job training program, employers provide training to paid employees who are gaining knowledge and skills to adequately perform their job duties. Tomlinson said businesses could be eligible for up to 50 percent reimbursement for the paid training period.

To be eligible an employer must directly hire the employee and not go through a staffing company. The period of training must be agreed on ahead of time and must be no less than 160 hours and no more than 1040 hours. An employer will be reimbursed after the employee has completed the training hours plus a 40 hours retention period.

“If you hire an employee at $10 an hour, and it takes 300 hours to train them, they have to complete the 300 hours plus 40 hours retention,” said Tomlinson. “Once they complete that, submit their payroll hours and date completed and we will get the reimbursement to you. You are eligible for 50 percent reimbursement. At $10 an hour we would reimburse $5 an hour.  That’s $1,500 you get back.”

Since July 2017, 10 area employers in Tippah, Alcorn, Union and Prentiss counties have saved over $500,000 in training costs.

“There is a cost in the hiring and training process and I am of the opinion, if there are available funds to help, why in the world would we not go after them?” said Tippah County Development Foundation Director Chris Lewellen.

To begin the OJT process, an employer needs to submit job descriptions, pay rate for openings, workers compensation information and employer ID number to Tomlinson at the WIN Job Center. For more information, contact Tomlinson at 662-696-2313 or email matomlinson@nemcc.edu.

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