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$4.4 million federal grant funds on-the-job training in Nebraska

$4.4 million federal grant funds on-the-job training in Nebraska

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A new Nebraska Department of Labor effort aims to help dislocated workers, long-term unemployed and returning veterans get a job.

The $4.4 million federal Job Driven National Emergency Grant offers training assistance to employers in western and eastern areas of the state. Targeted are manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics industries.

Participants are paid while they learn on the job.

Meghann Buresh, workforce coordinator at the department’s Norfolk Career Center, is raising awareness and has spoken about the effort to the Norfolk Action Council, an arm of the chamber of commerce.

“The employers I have visited with have all expressed interest in participating. I know there are some possibilities, but it’s so new, they’re still trying to go through them yet,’’ Buresh said.

State officials are still recruiting and don’t yet have a count on the number of employers and employees participating, said Grace Johnson of the Nebraska Department of Labor in Lincoln. The grant was awarded last July and is through September 2016.

There are two online sources of information for job seekers.

One is the new NEworks mobile app for smartphones, and the other is linked to the department’s website, NEworks.nebraska.gov. Job seekers register through the website.

For employers, the program provides reimbursement for on-the-job training to compensate for training costs and the lower productivity of the employee during the instruction period.

Jobs have to be full-time and permanent.

Training can’t exceed six months. Rates of reimbursement are 90 percent for firms with up to 50 employees, 75 percent to 250 employees and 50 percent for more than that.

Paperwork required is an application for each work site location, a contract, a training plan for each participant and an employer reimbursement form.

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