Job training agency offers new incentives for local employers, workers

Job training agency offers new incentives for local employers, workers

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The Workforce Alliance is offering a broad range of programs for workers in need of training, and for employers willing to train.

The Workforce Alliance will reimburse up to 75 percent of wages for providing on-the-job training to new hires in full-time, permanent positions filled by workers displaced by COVID-19-related closures or layoffs. 

Additionally, nonprofits, municipalities, small and minority-owned businesses are also invited to host temporary workers and interns paid by Workforce Alliance. The workers will provide short-term help while gaining experience. Those performing humanitarian or disaster-relief jobs may be placed until as late as June 2021.

“This initiative addresses an immediate need and removes common financial barriers faced by employers who want to rebuild their workforce,” said Bill Villano, president and CEO of Workforce Alliance. “This is one of many ways we’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis and providing meaningful support to connect workers and businesses.”

The Workforce Alliance which serves south central Connecticut, operates out of four American Job Centers in New Haven, Middletown, Hamden and at 87 W. Main St. in Meriden. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the centers are open by appointment only, but are working to slowly reopen for more walk-in traffic, said Ann Harrison, director of communications. 

In the meantime, enrollment for worker and employer programs is available through the Workforce Alliance website

“For the employers, we have options for you to hire the help you need. To non-profits, we will provide you with the workers and we will pay them,” Harrison told the Record-Journal during a recent Facebook live interview.  

Workforce Alliance’s latest offerings called Fight COVID With a Career are funded by a National Emergency Disaster Relief Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and a CT Governor’s Workforce Council COVID-19 Response grant made possible by the federal CARES Act.

Many of the job training and work experience interships will begin before the end of September and be completed before the end of 2020. Eligible candidates may include dislocated workers, low-income adults or young adults not connected to work or school. 

“We’re trying to turn 2020 around for people,” Harrison said. “We have three new training initiatives for people who are still looking for work that may have been impacted by the shutdown.”

Training opportunities are available in information technololgy, for certified nurses’ assistants specializing in geriatric nursing and for distribution and logistics workers. The agency is developing warehouse worker training into a career track by offering certifications in forklift driving and OSHA compliance.  

It is also offering a $200 per week stipend for those enrolled in the training programs. 

“This is to help keep them on track,” Harrison said. “People want to start a new career but may say, ‘I can’t afford it, I really need to be earning’”.

On-the-job training reimbursements are for employers who hire for permanent positions with defined career pathways. Workforce Alliance will reimburse up to 75% of the wages paid to the new hire during the 8-12 week on-the-job training period while missing skills or knowledge are gained through employment.

Workforce Alliance staff will work with each employer to determine which option best suits their needs, Harrison said.

Interested employers should contact Workforce Alliance’s Business Services Coordinator Wanda Lary at 203-867-4030 x 254. Interested employees are asked to visit the website and click on the Fight Covid With a Career button to get started.

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz

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