What is the “ESP” Program?
The Employment Subsidy Program (ESP) will reimburse your business/agency 100% of the hourly wages or salary for any current active WV WORKS participant that you hire for up to 12 months. The ESP program is funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) and is administered by each of the seven Workforce Investment Boards (WIB’s) throughout the state. The contact information for each WIB is listed at the end of this brochure.
Who May Become an ESP Employer?
Any employer including, public agencies, not-for- profit organizations and private businesses, licensed and in good standing to conduct business in West Virginia or states bordering West Virginia hiring West Virginia residents, may be eligible to become ESP employers.
What are the Other Requirements of an ESP Employer?
All ESP placements must be negotiated and individual contracts signed prior to the employee’s first day on the job;
The employer must pay wages or salary (not commissions) and guarantee work for at least 30 hours per week;
Must meet minimum wage requirements; Position cannot be “seasonal”;
Must offer the same working conditions and fringe benefits available to any other employee in the same job classification;
Guarantee appropriate workplace standards of employment;
Guarantee that no displacement or replacement of other staff will occur;
ESP placements must not provide more than 50% of the employer’s labor force; Keep daily attendance records for each person hired;
Although retention of the ESP employee is not required at the end of the contract period, all ESP employers are encouraged to retain the employee under contract or assist the employee in obtaining other unsubsidized employment.
How do I become an ESP employer?
Contact your local Workforce Investment Board office listed on the last page of this pamphlet to let them know that you are interested, that you may have openings and you would like to become an ESP employer. You may also call the WVDHHR Division of Family Assistance, Family Support Policy Unit at 304-356-4619.
What type of paperwork is involved with the ESP Program?
An individual contract signed by the employer, WIB, and ESP employee (contract addendums are available if changes occur); Completion of individual monthly time sheet; Completion of a monthly or current pay period wage reimbursement request
All contracts and forms are supplied by the WIB.
Is the Employer Under Any Obligation to Hire Those Referred?
No, the employer is under no obligation to hire any person referred.
How Do Employers Receive Payments?
The employer must provide a copy of the employee’s monthly time sheet and a copy of the reimbursement request to the respective WIB Regional Office.
Support Services Available to ESP Workers
Hired ESP employees may be eligible for assistance with purchasing appropriate work clothing or required work uniforms and work tools that are not provided by the employer. Other support services may be available to ESP employees.