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Labor Department Offers Free Services to Save North Country Small Businesses Time and Money
When Every Dollar Counts, On-the-Job Training and Human Resource Assistance Programs Pivotal to Small Businesses

Albany, NY (October 01, 2009) - Can't See the video? Click Here to Get Adobe Flash Player. At a press conference in Plattsburgh, State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith today encouraged small businesses across the North Country to take advantage of the Department of Labor's free services, which include an On-the-Job Training (OJT) program utilized by local regions across the state and a variety of human resource assistance tools that help businesses save both time and money. For Kjell Dahlen, M.D., partner at Eye Care for the Adirondacks, 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.”

Across the state, OJTs are administered and developed by local Workforce Investment Boards to specifically meet the needs of the employer. Under the OJT program, employers who hire a new worker from their local One-Stop Career Center may be able to take advantage of federal training dollars to offset the costs of training new hires. The local Workforce Investment Board will work with the employer on a specific training plan for the employee, and then pay up to 50 percent of the worker's wages for a maximum of 26 weeks. Last year, the North Country Workforce Investment Board administered more than 140 OJTs on behalf of businesses and workers and had a retention rate of nearly 100 percent for workers in the program.

Employers interested in this program should contact their nearest One-Stop Career Center immediately. A listing can be found at:

“It's a fact that the Department of Labor's services have the potential to save small businesses across the North Country hundreds, if not thousands of dollars,” said Commissioner Smith. “More importantly, these services enable businesses to focus more of their time on things that can help them profit and grow. If a business is growing, it is creating jobs, and that's what we aim to help them accomplish.”

John VanNatten, Chair of the North Country Workforce Investment Board said, “We want to ensure that workers reentering the workforce are equipped with the education and training necessary to be productive.  New employees are not immediately as productive as existing ones, and the Workforce Investment Board hopes to give businesses a financial cushion as they train new workers.  We believe that On-the-Job training is one of the best training methods because, by its very nature, it is employer specific, and conducted at the employee's worksite.”

In addition to the OJT program, the Department of Labor provides Human Resource assistance to businesses across the state and the North Country. Businesses with human resource-related questions can call the Department of Labor's Occupational Analysts (OAs) free of charge. OAs act as human resource liaisons to businesses; preparing job descriptions, helping firms begin job evaluation programs, conducting workshops and seminars, and providing technical assistance, as needed. They also analyze employers with high turnover rates to help them resolve hiring and retention problems, and work with them to develop employee handbooks, and policy and procedure manuals.

"To employers in the North Country – let us take care of the small stuff so you can focus on the more important business at hand," Commissioner Smith said.

Commissioner Smith also touted the Department of Labor's website, which employers can utilize free of charge to post job openings and review resumes of potential employees. The Labor Department also provides free recruitments and job fairs at local offices, One-Stop Career Centers and local venues.

To find out more about the Department of Labor and its services for businesses and workers, please visit