Paid Work Experience

Our Youth Paid Work Experience Program places Knox County young adults ages 18-24 with local employer partners. This program functions like a paid internship – except we cover all expenses including wages, payroll expenses, BWC expenses, supportive services and more! 

Benefits for the Employer

Benefits for the Participant

  • No out-of-pocket cost for the work experience
  • No liability expenses during the work experience
  • No obligation to hire candidates that don’t fit
  • OMJ staff support with coaching participant to success
  • Contribution to developing the local workforce
  • Connection to permanent employees
  • Explore different industries to find the right career path
  • OMJ staff support to assist with challenges
  • Supportive services are provided
  • Soft skills training provided to prepare for career success
  • Earn while they learn
  • Connection to possible permanent employment

Here's how it works:

OMJ Knox staff work with employer partners to place young adults enrolled in our youth program at your company for a period of 12 weeks, which may be extended up to 20 weeks.

Program participants perform work at your business for an agreed upon number of hours weekly, and up to 40 hours a week. Participants also attend employment related soft skills and job related skills training at the OMJ Knox job center each week throughout the work experience to better prepare the participants for successful outcomes.

During the work experience, OMJ Knox pays 100% of the wages and all employment related expenses. There is no out-of-pocket cost to employer partners during the work experience. Wages are generally set just below what the employer partner pays for the same/similar position. This allows the participant to look forward to a wage increase at the conclusion of the experience if a permanent position is offered and accepted. 

During the work experience, the program participant is paired with an OMJ Center Employment Services Specialist who will provide necessary supports and job coaching to help the participant be successful in the experience.

The Employment Services Specialist will be in regular communication with the employer partner throughout the experience and will facilitate accountability for the participant.

OMJ Knox offers supportive services to the program participant including transportation, required work apparel, needed tools, etc. 

If the program participant is injured during their work experience with you, OMJ Knox will cover the workers’ compensation claim for the incident. The injury does not affect the BWC rates for the employer partner.

At the conclusion of the work experience, employer partners may choose to offer a permanent position to the participant if the participant is a good fit for the company and if the company is a good fit for the participant. Employer partners are encouraged to hire participants, however, they are not obligated.

Interested in becoming an Employer Partner?

Contact us for more information


Thank you for completing the First Responders Residential History ADA Form

Skip to content