Since last spring, when Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced a new state program designed to promote job creation by providing incentives to employers that hire unemployed jobseekers, 2,000 Connecticut residents have found work through the Subsidized Training & Employment Program (STEP UP). A total of 575 employers have taken advantage of the STEP UP as a way to recruit solid talent and build their businesses.
The CT Workforce Development Council (CWDC), the Association of Connecticut’s five Workforce Investment Boards, implements the program with funding provided through the Connecticut Department of Labor. Speaking on behalf of the CWDC, William P. Villano, President and CEO of Workforce Alliance said, “We are very pleased that 82% of the employees placed are still employed by the company or at another job. At least 53% of the hires were long-termed unemployed, who had been searching for work for six months or more.”
STEP UP provides two types of hiring incentives – a scaled, six month wage subsidy and a small manufacturer training grant that provides up to $12,500 over a six-month period. The company must employ less than 100 people and conduct on-the-job training. Qualified participants are typically residents who may have some of the necessary job qualifications but who still require on-the-job training to meet the needs of the company. Those hired under the wage subsidy program must meet certain income requirements and reside in specific municipalities, based on population or unemployment rates. In addition, additional resources were allocated to STEP UP to include Veterans.
STEP UP-supported positions include customer service representatives, machine operators, office assistants, carpenters, mechanics, equipment installers, shipping and receiving, fabricators, dispatch managers, tool grinders, help desk technicians and process engineers, with hourly wages from $14.54 up to $28.85.