On-The-Job Training Grants help small business owner run, grow her business

October 17, 2014 |

Cheryl Warren has come “back to the coffers” at Charlotte Works more than once in her quest to grow her property management company.

Using the On-The-Job Training (OJT) Grants program, Warren has added four staff members to the roster of Rubec Properties, the business she threw herself into full-time in 2008 following a lay-off.

“A friend told me about the OJT program, and I thought it was a wonderful program for small businesses seeking to make themselves viable,” she says. “Financially, it’s a great help. As a small business, especially when you’re growing, you’re very lean. You know you need the employees, but you can’t afford the employees. With this program, you have the ability to have the help, and the time to build better efficiencies and effectiveness, so by the time [your staff] roll out of the program, you can better afford it. I would never have considered hiring and training the first employee without the assistance.”

OJT Grants provide wage/salary reimbursements to employers to compensate for the costs associated with skills-upgrade training and/or the loss of production for new hires. Employers may receive reimbursement of 50 to 90 percent of the wages/salaries for OJT trainees. Reimbursement rates and period of time vary based on the size of the organization and the specific training needed by new hires.

What makes Warren and Rubec Properties unique is the number of hires made using OJT grants, says Sheila Hemphill, OJT manager. “With a small business, you might expect to have one or two, but for her to have – and have retained – three or four is quite remarkable. Cheryl is a skilled and patient trainer who has a generous and enlightening spirit.”

Rubec Properties - Article
Cheryl Warren (top), owner of Rubec Properties, and NeShanda Bird, the company’s property services coordinator, discuss a tenant’s maintenance request. Warren used an On-The-Job Training (OJT) Grant to hire Bird. “The ease of doing business with Charlotte Works is a big, big plus,” Warren says. “It’s not crazy-bureaucratic.”

 

Warren has hired four OJT Grant trainees; three of them continue to help her grow her business. Two have been with Rubec Properties for more than a year, and one was hired in May.

“These three are the best employees I’ve ever had!” Warren says. “I was surprised – you can get really good employees. [The OJT Grant] allows you to see a group of potential employees who, in some ways, have been vetted because they’re going through Charlotte Works’ program to improve themselves.”

She says Hemphill has been a partner in helping to fill her company’s positions with candidates from different industries, but with similar skill sets to fit her needs. “It helps to have someone to talk to and break down the skill sets. They have diverse backgrounds, but good skills to utilize in this industry – I have two from banking and one from insurance,” notes Warren. “When you’re talking to someone in a completely different industry, you need help figuring out how they fit. Sheila helped me with that analysis.”

Warren will be back to dip in again: she’s in need of a bookkeeper.

 

To learn how the OJT Grants program can help your business, contact Jim Korth, OJT specialist, at 704.390.7093.

 

Read more about Charlotte Work’ OJT Grants program:

OJT grant engineers success for job-seeker, employer (March 2014)

WIA Classroom, On-The-Job training “a great marriage” (December 2013)

On-The-Job Training grants help entire community (August 2013)