Albany, NY (October 05, 2010) -
At a news conference in Rochester, State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner today challenged New York's businesses to take advantage of the free services the Department of Labor and its partners in the Workforce New York network have to offer. These services include targeted recruitments, On-the-Job Training and the federal HIRE Act.
"The Labor Department is out there, we're proactive and our programs offer real savings to businesses," said Commissioner Gardner. "We want businesses to know about these programs and to take advantage of them immediately. If you're hiring, we'll find your workers free of charge. Not only that, we can give you money to train these new hires. Better yet, we'll save you thousands in federal tax breaks that you can reinvest right back into your business."
Even in a time of recession, thousands of companies are still hiring. In August 2010, there were more than 85,000 job openings listed in the New York State job bank, found at www.laborny.jobs.
Businesses that register with the new site can:
"Why would anyone spend thousands of dollars to advertise for workers when the Labor Department and its Workforce New York partners will do it for free?" asked Commissioner Gardner. "Whether you need a welder, a nurse or an accountant, we have just the workers you're looking for."
Commissioner Gardner also touted On-the-Job Training (OJT) as a free resource for businesses. There are two ways to take advantage of the OJT program; the first is to contact your nearest local workforce investment board. Businesses also can apply for the Department of Labor's statewide On-the-Job Training (OJT) program. 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 covered if the newly hired employee has been unemployed for a long time. This helps the employer fund the high cost of training.
New York has invested more than $6 million in federal funds into OJT. The Labor Department estimates that more than 550 unemployed workers will be hired through this program in 2010 alone.
Private sector businesses (both for-profit and not-for-profit) may 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 also are eligible. The OJT must take place at a 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 applying for On-the-Job Training grants should send an email to: StateOJT@labor.ny.gov.
At the end of the press conference, Commissioner Gardner called on our federal lawmakers to extend the HIRE Act tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of the year. Businesses that take advantage of this credit can receive a 6.2 percent federal payroll tax cut if they hire workers who have been out of work for 60 days or more.
"We want this legislation extended through the middle of next year, as it has been a boon to our state's economy," said Commissioner Gardner. "There are still too many New Yorkers out of work to allow this legislation to expire at the end of the year."For more information about the Labor Department and the Workforce New York network's free services, please visit www.labor.ny.gov.