New Jersey to offer cash to get unemployed workers training at small businesses

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey is offering a $500 incentive to unemployed people who go back to work at businesses with 100 or fewer employees and receive job training.

News 12 Staff

Sep 27, 2021, 10:47 PM

Updated 940 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey is offering a $500 incentive to unemployed people who go back to work at businesses with 100 or fewer employees and receive job training.
The incentive, dubbed the Return and Earn Program, will be financed with $10 million of federal COVID-19 funds.
“We worked hard together over the past 19 months to protect public health. Now we have a new way to work together to create our long-term economic health,” Murphy said during his Monday COVID-19 briefing.
The new program will use already-existing job-training infrastructure to provide wage reimbursement to employers. Employers who hire workers with “skills gaps” can also get 50% of the wages reimbursed during the training period under the program. The employer wage subsidy will be capped at $10,000.
"We recognize that we need to do a little more to help job seekers who are the most vulnerable, such as the long-term unemployed and those switching to new industries and careers, regardless of whether or not their economic dislocation was due to the pandemic,” Murphy said.
For small businesses with 100 or fewer employees, the incentive program will reimburse half of the cost of wages paid to an employee during on-the-job training, for up to six months.
"We think cash on the barrel alone is interesting. But it's even more interesting when you put a workforce development and upskill to it,” the governor said.
Murphy said he continues to have confidence in the state Department of Labor, despite issues handling thousands of unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic.
"All things considered, they were hit with a tsunami and this is not to make anybody who is out there frustrated still awaiting adjudication on a claim. I don't blame you for being frustrated, but I'd put our state's record up against anyone else in the country,” he said.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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