Training & Hiring Incentives

Existing Worker Training

Incumbent worker training programs provide funding assistance to businesses to upgrade the skills of their current employees, thereby enhancing their expertise and making their business more competitive, thereby increasing profit. These funds can be used to address changes and/or challenges to your business, including, but not limited to:

  • Declining sales
  • Supply chain issues
  • Adverse industry market trends
  • Changes in management behavior or ownership
  • Phasing out certain functions and/or introducing new functions/lines that require worker retraining
  • Required skill changes that would otherwise result in downsizing and layoffs if not addressed
  • New technology and/or equipment implementation that increase economic competitiveness; and
  • Creation of new employment opportunities that require advance skills and knowledge.

The program reimburses employers for the cost of training their workers, including tuition or instructional costs for courses, class for certification exams, online training, textbooks/manuals, and certification/licensing fees. Participating businesses must provide a minimum matching contribution to the grant funding provided, as listed below:

  • Business with 50 or less employees must match 10% of the training cost
  • Businesses with between 51 and 100 employees must match 25% of the training cost
  • Businesses with more than 100 employees must match 50% of the training cost

Wages that are paid to employees for the duration of the training count toward the match requirement as in-kind, fairly evaluated.


Businesses that are interested in the Incumbent Worker Training program must complete an application for funding, detailing their training needs and funding request amount.

On-The-Job Training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a workforce development strategy in which employers have the opportunity to train, mentor, and hire candidates as they become fully proficient in their job and decrease their skill gap. Businesses are able to interview, screen, and hire participants in the OJT program just as they would any normal employee. However, individuals hired under the OJT program are eligible for wage subsidies that can support up to 50% of a new worker’s wages for 3 to 5 months, up to a maximum of $5,000. After the OJT subsidy period, it is expected that employers will retain workers in permanent employment. New employees must qualify for OJT subsidy services prior to beginning employment.

Work Experience

Businesses have the opportunity to host a job seeker at no cost to them in order to try out the employee prior to offering full-time employment. Not only does this minimize the risk for the employer, but it also provides job seekers the job readiness skills, experience, and training to be an exemplary employee. Work experience participants receive incentives directly through Virginia Career Works – Blue Ridgeand are able to provide the employer with up to 300 hours of labor at no cost to the employer. Employers would have the opportunity to interview prospective work experience participants and choose the one that meets their needs.

Other Incentives

Virginia Jobs Investment Program

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) provides services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change.  Working closely with company personnel, the VJIP offers consulting services at no charge to your company, in addition to direct funding to offset your company’s recruitment and training costs.


Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit that encourages employers to hire eight targeted groups of job seekers by reducing employers’ federal income tax liability.


Worker Retraining Credit

This tax credit is design to encourage employers to upgrade the skills of their workforce. A tax credit can be claimed for training costs associated with providing retraining to eligible workers.


Employers of Disabled Individuals Credit

Employers may receive a tax credit if they hire an employee with disabilities. The employee must have completed or is completing rehabilitative services provided by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired or the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.


For more information, please contact us!

Visit A Virginia Career Works Center


3601 Thirlane Road NW, Suite 2
Roanoke, VA 24019

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106 North Maple Avenue
Covington, VA 24426

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50 Claiborne Avenue
Rocky Mount, VA 24151

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