August 18, 2011

Workforce Board Receives $169,204 State Grant To Continue Tri-County Wage Subsidy Progr

News Photo

Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Alice J. Savino today announced that the WIB.  Has received $169,204 in supplemental funding from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to continue the operation of its highly successful Wage Subsidy Program aimed at helping public assistance recipients in the tri-county area with barriers to employment find and retain employment.

“The Wage Subsidy Program helps employers take a chance on new hires who want to work and who need to work, but may have barriers in theirs lives, whether it is a disability, a criminal record, or a lack of formal training,” Savino said. “Through this program, we can help employers by subsidizing the wages of the people they hire through our program for a set period of time so that public assistance recipients have a better chance of being employed, and employers can find the people they need for positions that are pen r being added.”

Savino said the WIB has operated the program since 2009. “This is highly successful because we pre-screen the customers to be sure the people we send out to employers really want to work and have that work ethic employers want,” she said. “We appreciate the support of the state Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance and Gov. Cuomo in providing the resources to continue this program.”

Some program facts:

The Wage Subsidy Program (WSP) helps cover some of the costs involved in training new employees.  Employers are reimbursed up to 90% of wages and basic fringes (FICA, Unemployment Insurance and Worker’s Compensation) for an eligible new hire, for a training period of up to 3 months.  (Rate and time period are determined by program staff.)

While there is no minimum salary rate for participation in this program, the amount of subsidy under WSP is capped at $8.00/hr. 

Employers are encouraged to invest in and retain successful WSP employees after the subsidized training period.  Therefore, 25% of the wages subject to subsidy will be withheld until the new WSP employee retains employment for at least 90 days following the subsidy period (i.e. 6 months total).  WSP staff will provide on-going support and assistance to the employer and the employee to help reach this milestone.

Any company, regardless of size, may qualify for WSP if it can provide the following: 

  • A permanent position, preferably full-time, with working hours equal to a minimum of 30 hours per pay week for eligible individuals, 18 and over.
  • A pay rate meeting federal, state or union standards, as applicable.
  • Opportunities for advancement.

Other Program Benefits

  • On-going case management services are provided to assist with problems on and off the job site with post–placement follow up for 6 months after placement
  • Participants who successfully complete 60 days of employment receive a $100 stipend upon reaching their 60-day retention milestone.

Eligibility is limited to Family Assistance Recipients (FA), Safety Net families (SNF), families at or below 200% of poverty (TANF 200%) in the Oneida, Herkimer and Madison county regions.  To be TANF 200% eligible an individual’s household income must be at or below 200% of poverty and have one of the following as a member of the household:  a)  a minor child under the age of 18 or under the age of 19 and attending secondary school or an equivalent level of vocational or technical training (e.g. BOCES)  b)  a pregnant woman  c)  an adult who is not the parent but is a relative caring for a minor OR d)  the individual is a non-custodial parent of a minor child.

Participants also need to complete Job Readiness Training prior to placement.  In order to meet this requirement, many participants will be referred upon completion of a DSS Job Readiness Training program – in Oneida County that is the Pride in Work program.

For more information contact:

Alan Lam
Workforce Investment Board
209 Elizabeth St.
Utica, NY  13501
(315) 731-3435

Oneida County Partners