HBOTT program provides wage reimbursements for employees receiving skills upgrade training
Imagine being able to choose from a pool of pre-screened applicants and providing customized job-specific training at a reduced cost for your business. The FloridaWorks Healthcare Biomanufacturing Occupational & Technology Training (HBOTT) program is designed to allow employers to hire, train and retain qualified program-eligible employees in permanent positions. The next application deadline for employers interested in the HBOTT program is Friday, August 30.
The grant-funded program provides more than $3 million worth of training for local unemployed workers in healthcare, bioscience manufacturing and technology occupations that are often filled by foreign workers under the U.S. H-1B visa program. It is anticipated that $2.5 million will be awarded for a maximum of 6 months of on-the-job-training (OJT) serving a minimum of 264 trainees during the four-year program. The HBOTT program is open to employers in Alachua and Bradford counties.
FloridaWorks matches qualified eligible applicants with the job openings and helps the employer to design a training plan that meets the employer and applicant’s needs. Participating employers may be reimbursed up to 90% (depending on company size) wage reimbursement, not including fringe benefits or payroll taxes, for the hours that the employee is engaged in workplace training during the OJT period. Employees must be hired at the start of training and retained after training. OJT may be provided by the employer’s in-house personnel or by third party training providers hired by the employer.
In-demand occupations that are approved for H-1B visas are eligible for OJT in approved industries. The HBOTT program also is designed to provide, as necessary, short-term specialized skills upgrading in the selected industries to build a knowledge and competency base that will compliment OJT opportunities.
To participate in this program, employers must complete a wage reimbursement application and submit it to FloridaWorks. Applications must be submitted via the secure portal on FloridaWorksOnline.com. Successful employers will receive a wage reimbursement award and contract agreement. Private for-profit and non-profit employers are eligible, with the exception of temporary placement agencies; public agencies are not eligible under this program.
Employers will be selected by the FloridaWorks’ Business Competitiveness Committee, which receives recommendations from a sub-committee that will serve as the HBOTT Review Committee. The sub-committee will score the applications and recommend awards to the Business Competitiveness Committee, which votes on final approvals in public meetings. An OJT contract will then be signed between approved employers and FloridaWorks. The decisions of the Committee are final.
FloridaWorks HBOTT partners include the Institute for Workforce Innovation, University of Florida, Santa Fe College, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce and Focused Management Solutions.