Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
TCCAP works with the New Hampshire Office of Workforce Opportunity to simplify programs under a single, comprehensive system compared to the current array of separate programs.
The program provides:
- Post-secondary training
- Job search assistance
- Job training
- Adult literacy
- Other labor market aid with closer realities to the changing job markets
The Workplace Success Program is both a financial assistance program and a work program. The work program helps eligible families become self-supporting by providing:
- Employment Opportunities
- Job Readiness
- Training Services
The Workplace Success Program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and represents collaboration between the Division of Family Assistance, and the other New Hampshire Community Action Agencies to enable FANF recipients to move from welfare to work. Workplace Success provides participants in the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP) with the skills, knowledge, experience, and support needed to obtain paid employment.
Workplace Success Career Centers sites are located in 12 communities across the state: Berlin, Tamworth, Littleton, Claremont, Keene, Concord, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua, Derry, Portsmouth, and Rochester. Over 1,400 NHEP clients enrolled in the Program during the year with 65% achieving successful outcomes.
The program prepares participants to enter the workforce by providing them a comprehensive set of workforce development services starting with a rigorous vocational assessment process leading to a personal Career Plan.
Once the job goals are identified, participants typically engage in Job Readiness and Job Search workshops addressing preparation of job applications, cover letters and resumes, interviewing skills, Thank You notes and follow up, as well as appropriate dress, time management, portfolio development, financial literacy, and balancing work and family.
Job Club is an important daily group activity that enables participants to practice mock interview skills, networking techniques, meet local employers and job search experts, research job prospects, and share job search experiences.
Embedded Work & Skills Training is used to introduce and reinforce new skills needed in most jobs such as keyboarding, basic computer literacy, customer service, critical thinking, communication skills, stress management and other useful skills. Participants successfully completing these activities or demonstrating competency in these areas become involved in work-connected activities beginning with Service Bureau.
The Workplace Success Program’s Service Bureau allows trainees to perform volunteer work assignments that offer them the opportunity to learn new skills, obtain direct work experience, network with potential employers, and develop employment references. These community-based projects are performed both on-site and outside the Career Centers.
The Work Experience Program (WEP) is another important component of the Workplace Success Program. It provides NHEP participants an opportunity to improve their employability and gain the skills, knowledge and work habits necessary to obtain employment through supervised 16-week unpaid work assignments with participating host sites. These volunteer Work Experience positions develop new work skills, for 20-30 hours per week within a nonprofit, business, or local/state government host site, resulting in paid or partially subsidized employment (OJT).
In 2013, over 356 trainees in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Derry volunteered at 110 non-profit , business, or local/state government entities that served as host sites. The host sites benefit by having extra personnel to assist with their organization’s work needs along with a no-risk opportunity to evaluate a participant for employment.
In 2013, of 157 trainees obtaining paid employment after their WEP assignments statewide, 42 were hired by their WEP host site. Often, the NHEP On-the-Job Training Program (OJT) is available to the host site if they plan on hiring the WEP participant.
The On the Job Training (OJT) Program reimburses employers to offset some of the costs associated with supervising and training NHEP participants as newly hired full-time employees in their company workforce. The OJT program is especially useful to employers expanding their business and who need workers trained in specific job skills.
The employer receives a wage reimbursement up to 90% ($4,000 maximum) during the new employee’s contracted OJT training period (maximum 6 months). As an even greater incentive, participating employers can benefit from a tax credit for up to $10,200 over 2 years through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for each NHEP participant who completes and remains employed the end of their OJT training.
Last year, 35 NHEP participants received OJT training and over 80% completed.
In an effort to stretch its resources and serve more participants, NHEP has partnered with the Work Investment Act (WIA) Program to fund OJT opportunities for TANF public assistance recipients, whereby WIA reimburses participating employers for training and NHEP provides OJT development and support services to its participating trainees.