State’s STEP UP program matches workers, employers

The WorkPlace Inc., Southwestern Connecticut’s regional workforce development board, based in Bridgeport, reported that since its establishment last spring, 2,000 state residents have found work through the Subsidized Training & Employment Program. A total of 575 employers have taken advantage of the STEP UP as a way to recruit talent and build their businesses.
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 military veterans.
“We are very pleased that 82 percent of the employees placed are still employed by the company or at another job. At least 53 percent of the hires were long-termed unemployed, who had been searching for work for six months or more,” said
William P. Villano, president and CEO of Workforce Alliance.