PATRICK ADMINISTRATION INCREASES INCENTIVES FOR COMPANIES HIRING VETERANS AND LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED
BOSTON – Building off record investments made by the Patrick Administration in Veterans Services, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) recently announced it has more than doubled cash grants available to employers hiring Massachusetts residents who have been unemployed for 6 months or more, or Massachusetts veterans (regardless of length of unemployment). Increased grant funding is available through the state’s Hiring Incentive Training Grant (HITG), a program of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund.
“This grant program is a valuable incentive for employers who want to boost their workforce but may need additional resources to add new hires,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein. “Through this program, we are supporting the long-term unemployed and veterans looking for work as we encourage companies to grow their business and workforce in Massachusetts.”
Any for-profit company and non-profit organization that contributes to the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, a state fund enacted in 1998, are encouraged to apply. Eligible employers may now apply for grants of $5,000 for each new hire who meets the Hiring Incentive Training Grant program requirements. Employers may receive up to $75,000 each calendar year. Upon approval, payment will be available to the employer once the new hire has retained employment for at least 120 days.
A copy of the Hiring Incentive Training Grant application, eligibility requirements, Frequently Asked Questions and other relevant materials are available at EOLWD’s website www.mass.gov/hiringgrant. Grant awards are subject to funding availability, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Prior to October 2013, awarded eligible employers received no more than $2,000 per new hire, and no more than $30,000 per calendar year through the previous guidelines of the Hiring Incentive Training Grant. The increased grant funding through the Hiring Inventive Training Grant is one of many business resources promoted by the Patrick Administration to assist companies growing or expanding in Massachusetts.
The Hiring Incentive Training Grant is part of the Workforce Training Fund Program, managed by the Commonwealth Corporation, which provides resources for employers to better train Massachusetts workers. Recently, EOLWD announced approximately $2.8 million in Workforce Training Fund grants, totaling more than $15.6 million in grants awarded by the Patrick Administration since July 2012 to help train over 15,400 Massachusetts employees in the last year alone. The priorities of the Workforce Training Fund include projects, which will lead to increased job retention or job growth, increased wages, more productive and competitive companies, improved ability to do business in Massachusetts and commitments to increased private investment in training.
“The Workforce Training Fund has proven to be a remarkable resource to Massachusetts businesses looking to address their business needs,” said Nancy Snyder, President and CEO of Commonwealth Corporation. “We encourage all businesses, regardless of size, to contact us to learn more about the Workforce Training Fund and training grants that are available.”
Increased funding available through the Hiring Incentive Training Grant is another example of the Patrick Administration’s commitment to supporting Massachusetts veterans. The Administration is a leading provider for veteran services and continues to implement employment assistance and workforce training programs for veterans. In addition to providing priority service for veterans at each of the Department of Career Services’ One-Stop Career Centers, the Administration also launched an aggressive employment campaign focused on increasing the hiring of Massachusetts veterans. Among these initiatives, the Patrick Administration has partnered with major trade associations to encourage them to hire veterans, circulate information on veterans’ benefits and educate local employers about the skills service members gain the military.
Today’s announcement is more welcomed news within the veteran community, especially in advance of Veteran’s Day and the Patrick Administration’s annual “Hire a Vet Month” that will be celebrated throughout November.
“Employment is a critical component for a veteran’s successful transition back into civilian life,” said Secretary of Veterans Services Coleman Nee. “Massachusetts leads the nation in veterans’ services, and with this increased incentive we will continue to lead the way while maximizing both public and private sector resources to ensure we provide our veterans with the employment opportunities they have earned.”