Ohio Programs Helping to Bridge Employment Barriers

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Programs designed to help individuals facing employment barriers are being touted Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder as part of National Workforce Development Month.

“We are in a tight labor market, and employers across Ohio are looking for qualified workers to join their ranks,” said Damschroder. “At the same time, there are many Ohioans who want to work but face unique challenges entering the workforce. Our veterans, individuals with disabilities, and restored citizens all have much to offer if given the opportunity.”

Programs include federal tax credits for employers who are hiring individuals from certain targeted groups, including veterans, public assistance recipients, restored citizens, individuals with disabilities, and others who often face barriers to employment.

Through the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program managed by the ODJFS, employers can receive tax credits of $2,400 to $9,600 per eligible employee. Since January, ODJFS has approved nearly 80,000 WOTC applications, which has provided approximately $192 million to state employers.

Some tax-exempt organizations also can take advantage of the program, by receiving a credit against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes.  

WOTC applications must be submitted online at jfs.ohio.gov/wotc within 28 days of individuals’ start-to-work date.

For more information, employers should email wotc_contact@jfs.ohio.gov or call 614 595 4096.

Those individuals facing barriers to employment can find resources at OhioMeansJobs.com, including basic job search information, as well as specific information for those in various groups facing barriers such as restored citizens and those overcoming disabilities.

Employers can also find a large pool of diverse workers through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.  In addition, anyone looking for a job in Ohio can visit local OhioMeansJobs Centers, which provides free one-on-one assistance, as well as free access to computers and phones.

Career coaches are available to help prepare resumes, explore careers, apply for jobs, and refer job seekers to special programs, such as veterans’ services, vocational rehabilitation and food and other emergency assistance.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.