Town, employers team up for on-the-job training

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The Town of Oyster Bay announced a new job-training program at a news conference at Oyster Bay Brewing Company on Tuesday. The On-The-Job Training Program, which is run through the town’s Workforce Partnership Program, is a federally funded initiative to help business owners and job seekers by expanding local businesses, and providing residents with workforce training and job opportunities.

The program is run through the town Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. Steven Delligatti, director of the Workforce Development Board, called the initiative the “culmination of hard work.”

He explained that businesses interested in offering On-The-Job must meet certain requirements, such as being in good financial standing, showing a willingness to expand in the town and having no employee layoffs.

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said at the conference that putting residents back to work is a “top priority” of the administration. “On-The-Job will give individuals the opportunity to train in an occupation, acquire knowledge and skills, and go into an interview with real workplace experience,” he said.

Employees train under On-The-Job businesses for a maximum of six months. The cost to employ two individuals under On-The-Job is $24,000 — or $12,000 each. Since the funding comes from federal grants, there will be no cost to taxpayers.

“This intermunicipal venture will improve our workforce and [improve] economic development in the Town of Oyster Bay,” Saladino said.

Oyster Bay Brewing Co. became the first business to offer the program. Owners Ryan Schlotter and Gabe Haim, who have operated the brewery since 2012, signed a contract with the town on Tuesday binding the agreement.

“The support from the Town of Oyster Bay has been fantastic,” Schlotter said. “This program will help us grow, and help employees develop a skill set that can take them to higher levels of employment.”

Although the two new hires will be trained as product salespeople, Haim said the program would allow employees to experience and understand multiple facets of the craft beer industry.

The brewery’s newest employees, Stephen Saylor, of Westbury, and Noreen Linasa, of Hicksville, were excited to be the “guinea pigs” of the On-The-Job training program.

“The company needed help with distribution and sales, and I have a background from college,” Saylor said. “It’s a good way to pay it forward and get experience in the business world.”

Linasa said she was eager to learn about product development through the program. “It’s a cool way to see a product from start to finish, and watch it go through changes,” she said. “I hope other people [take advantage of] this opportunity.”

Oyster Bay Councilwoman Michele Johnson called the program a “win-win” for the town and its residents. “It’s exciting to provide our residents with an opportunity for employment and to help the local economy,” she said. “Employees can learn new skills, and the businesses are given a way to grow.”

Delligatti encouraged business owners who are interested in offering On-The-Job to apply through the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs at (516) 797-4560.