The Effingham County Economic Development Board heard a presentation from Robin Kralman, of C.E.F.S, and Kevin Pierce, a Workplace Innovation and Opportunity Services Representative. Pierce is responsible for overseeing the WIOA program in fourteen counties in Central Illinois. According to Pierce, the program is federally funded and provides training opportunities for those looking to enter the job market.
Part of the of the WIOA program is an on-the-job training program designed to encourage employers to hire and train workers who had been laid off from other jobs. According to Kralman, one incentive for employers is that the on-the-Job training program will pay 50-75 percent, depending on a company’s size, of a new employee’s salary while they are being trained.
In order to qualify for the program, potential employees must be learning a new skill. Kralman works with employers to develop a contract that lasts how long it takes new trainees to learn necessary skills for the job. Contracts can extend up to six months. After the contract ends the employer takes over the full compensation of their new worker. Throughout the designated period, Kralman has brief conferences with the employer to ensure that the new employee is learning the skills. According to Kralman, the process had been streamlined to make it as easy as possible for employers to utilize. Pierce suggested that businesses looking for financial support from the Board for hiring, should first be required to look into the on-the-job training program
Ed Hoopingarner, who sat in as Chairmen for David Campbell during the meeting, told Effingham Radio News that while the Board may not require businesses to consider the program before providing support, they would make sure that business knew about it.
The Board also discussed local businesses they had met with recently, and a potential loan to help a grocery store in Edgewood expand and remodel.