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Hiring and training programs give businesses a boost in the labor market

It’s no secret that businesses have found themselves in a competitive talent market the past few years. With the unemployment rate trending below historic levels1, employers have had to work that much harder to find and attract good candidates.

In this environment, businesses need every advantage they can get, and one option to consider is the variety of public programs that can help organizations with both hiring and training new employees. Let’s take a closer look at what’s out there to support businesses on both fronts.

Help finding new employees

Finding the right people is critical, but it can also be expensive. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire is around $4,700, though many employers estimate that the total cost to hire a new employee can actually be three to four times the position's salary2.

This makes financial assistance a welcome sight during the hiring process. The federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)3 is available to employers who invest in American job seekers who have consistently faced barriers to employment. This group includes veterans, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients and others.

With credits of up to $9,600 per hire, the WOTC program can help organizations recoup some of their costs from the hiring process. Interested business leaders can get more information through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), though state agencies, such as the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), will often oversee the program at the local level4.

Agencies such as the DOL and DEED offer additional resources to help organizations grow their operations, such as guides to finding the right employees, as well as assistance with expansion efforts.

Help training employees

Hiring the right people is only half the battle, as businesses also need to make sure their employees are ready for their jobs. SHRM notes that training costs vary from company to company, but many employers spend between $1,000 and $3,000 per employee to get them up to speed5. On top of the costs associated with training, organizations must also dedicate sufficient time to make it effective.

Different programs can help incentivize a focus on training, similar to how WOTC works with hiring. For instance, in central Minnesota where I live and work, the On-the-Job Training (OJT) program6 reimburses employers for up to 50% of an eligible new employee’s wages if the business provides training around occupational skills. The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP)6 is similar but is focused on building up existing employees so that they can take on new roles and responsibilities within an organization.

These programs, and others in different regions across the state and country, can make training much more approachable for businesses. Consider checking with your local workforce development agency to see what’s available.

Organizations that take advantage of both hiring and training assistance opportunities can help their bottom lines and get an edge in the battle for talent.













Bremer Eric Reisinger bio

About Eric Reisinger

Eric has served as a Commercial Banker at Bremer Bank since 2018, helping customers in St. Cloud and the surrounding region. With more than 20 years of banking experience, he works closely with middle-market manufacturers, as well as engineering, transportation and professional services companies. Eric strives to develop trusting, long-term partnerships with his customers and assists them in achieving their goals by taking the time to understand their business. He does this through transparent communication, and by providing timely access to financial resources and expertise. Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of M...

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