As the shortage in New Jersey continues, Governor Phil Murphy announced a new Return and Earn program designed to help workers re-enter the workforce while providing small businesses with financial assistance to help train new employees. .

Murphy said Monday that Return and Earn is a two-track program with parallel tracks, offering employers “up to $ 10,000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new employees with identifiable skills gaps, and for employees, a direct return to work benefit of $ 500 “.

He explained that the program will offer those who get a new job “a return-to-work bonus of $ 500 on their first paycheck, and this bonus will be in addition to any other hiring bonus or benefit provided by their employee. employer”.

The governor said there are associated costs associated with returning to work, such as transportation or childcare, and that this benefit is designed to help workers meet those costs.

Murphy said that for companies with up to 100 employees, the $ 10,000 wage subsidy will be provided “to help cover a new employee’s wages until their first 6 months on the job, a period when employers provide on-the-job training to embark and train new workers.

He noted that companies must offer new workers at least $ 15 an hour to be eligible for the grant.

He said the total reimbursement for businesses will be capped at $ 10,000 per employee and $ 40,000 per employer “and this reimbursement will be valid whether this training takes place in person on the job site or virtually.”

A total of $ 10 million for the program comes from the US Federal Rescue Fund. The governor said if he was successful he would consider adding additional dollars to the program.

Murphy also said the state Department of Labor would “be tracking all details vital to the employers and workers concerned soon.”

“The New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce supports Governor Phil Murphy’s Return and Earn program,” said Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “The NJ chamber is delighted that the governor has responded to our requests to invest more US bailout dollars into the state’s business community to help accelerate our economic recovery.”

“The Return and Earn program represents the start of an opportunity to provide job training while helping employers inspire workers to return to the workplace,” said Michele Siekerka, President and CEO of New Jersey Business and Industry Association. “This program is a good start to addressing the workforce challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to working on continued holistic approaches to better address the future of work in New Jersey. “

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]

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