New State Program For Long-Term Unemployed
Unemployment Insurance benefits expired for more than 130,000 New Yorkers the second week of November. If no action is taken in Washington to extend benefits, 200,000 New Yorkers will expire by the end of the year.
With this in mind, the state Department of Labor is highlighting a program designed to help New York’s longterm unemployed get back to work. The $3.8 million program, called Onthe Job Training (OJT), also incentivizes employers in the market to hire by offsetting up to 90 percent of the costs of training new hires.
State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner said, “We need to help New York’s long-term unemployed and ‘99 weekers’ get back on their feet quickly, but to do this employers need an incentive to start hiring. That’s where OJT comes in.”
An OJT grant returns up to 90 percent of the newly hired trainee’s pay until the employee is proficient in their new job. Private sector, for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are eligible to apply for OJT grants. The OJT must take place at a physical business location in New York State. The job the employee is training for must be a fulltime job (35 hours or more per week).
Businesses interested in more information about applying for On-the-Job Training grants should send an email to: StateOJT@labor.ny.gov.
Please put “Intent to Apply” in the subject line and include the following information in the body of the e-mail:
• Business or Intermediary Name
• Federal Employer Identification
• Contact Person
• Phone Number
• E-mail Address
• Title and salary range for each anticipated
Once the email is received, the application will be assigned to local and regional Business Services staff to assist in preparing the application and make the process as seamless as possible.
For Kjell Dahlen, M.D., partner at Eye Care for the Adirondacks in Plattsburgh, the OJT program has several advantages. “The On-the-Job Training program afforded us the opportunity to hire four new employees since it reimbursed almost half of training costs for a twelve week period. All four new employees are exceeding expectations. Without the program, we probably would not have been able to hire as many new people. I am very excited about the program and what it has to offer for small businesses in our community.” Robert Ragusa, President of DeIorio’s Frozen Dough Products in Utica said, “The OJT program has afforded us the opportunity to reinvest back into all facets of our business. These funds have even allowed us to hire a full time trainer to establish an in-depth training program focusing on employee safety, job functionality and program support.”