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New York State
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Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor Peter M. Rivera, Commissioner

COMMISSIONER GARDNER KICKS OFF STATEWIDE SMALL BUSINESS TOUR IN UTICA

Mohawk Valley Small Business Expands Thanks to Help from the State

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Albany, NY (June 25, 2010) -

State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner was in Utica on Friday, June 25 to kick off the first in a series of small business tours she plans to make this summer.  The first stop on the tour was JETNET, an aviation research company with 50 employees that recently hired two workers through the Labor Department's On-the-Job Training (OJT) program.

"Hiring an employee can be a long and expensive process, especially if the new worker requires on-the-job training," said Commissioner Gardner.  "What's so great about our OJT program is that we'll offset the costs of training that new hire until they're up to speed.  If you're a small business in the Mohawk Valley that is on the fence about hiring, we want you to get off that fence, and we'll use real money to help you do it."

"The State-level OJT Program is an incredible incentive for businesses located in New York State to increase their workforce and get some of the training costs reimbursed through an OJT grant," says Lucia Frontera, Director of Research at JETNET.  "Businesses in NYS should be aware of this program and take the necessary steps to apply for reimbursement of their training costs.  JETNET has done so and it has turned out to be beneficial for our company and our newly hired employees who are now back in the workforce.  The program has been a win/win experience from our point of view."

The Department of Labor's On-the-Job Training (OJT) program is for businesses training full-time workers. An OJT grant returns up to 30% of the newly hired trainee's pay until the employee is proficient in their new job. Another 20% of pay is allowed if the newly hired employee has been unemployed for a long period of time. This helps the employer cover the high cost of training.

$2.8 million in federal funds have been set aside to support the OJT Program. These funds are made available to the State under the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Labor Department estimates that more than 550 unemployed workers will be hired through this program.

Private sector, for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in OJT grants. Each training plan is capped at $5,000 per trainee. Intermediaries that represent a business membership are also eligible.  The OJT must take place at a physical business location in New York State. The job the employee is training for must be a full-time job (35 hours or more per week) and pay at least $10.00 an hour.

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 contact information in the body of your email.  A business service representative from the Department of Labor will then be in contact with you regarding the application.            

 For more information about the Department of Labor's services for businesses, please visit http://www.labor.ny.gov/

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