Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that nearly $500,000 in job training grants is still available to businesses that hire long-term unemployed New Yorkers. This funding is available through the On-the-Job Training (OJT) National Emergency Grant (NEG). This effort is part of a campaign to help individuals who have been out of work for 26 weeks or longer connect to available jobs in their region. To date, more than 660 businesses have been awarded nearly $9 million to train workers across the state. Businesses received an average of nearly $7,000 per hire, with more than 1,300 workers hired through the grant funding.
Lowering the cost that businesses pay to train employees can have a big impact on reducing unemployment rates and spurring economic growth throughout the state, said Governor Cuomo. These grants help businesses grow their workforce and ensure New Yorkers have the opportunity to find well paying, long-term, stable jobs. I encourage employers in every region to learn more about the training dollars available.
In addition to the training incentives for businesses, the Department of Labor is putting extra emphasis on working directly with individuals who have been out of work for 26 weeks or longer.
While the economy is improving in New York State, it is still a highly competitive job market, said State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. Anyone looking for a job or to advance their career should come into one of our Career Centers near them and get services that will give them a competitive edge.
In the Western New York Region, 143 businesses have already hired 299 workers under the program.
Momba C. Chia, Chief Operating Officer at the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network in Buffalo, said, Its been a great experience working with the Erie County Department of Labor NEG OJT program in recruiting employees who add value to the services we provide. The strength of our company is embedded in utilizing skilled individuals from the community we serve to provide culturally sensitive and patient-centered services to the client base within the community. Since workers within these communities need some level of training and tailoring to our specific needs, the OJT/NEG program provides great assistance in achieving this goal and in transforming the talents into a productive use, with a multiplier effect within the community.
Kimberly Lopez, Human Resources Manager, at the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network, said, I received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army on January 3, 2013. As I was looking for work, I realized how hard it was trying to get a job being a veteran and I assumed that it would have been an easier road. The OJT program has helped me tremendously along with my current employer GBUAHN to ensure that my skills from the military were transferred over to the civilian sector and to ensure that I am given the proper training to perform my job duties as a Human Resources Manager.
In the North Country Region, 44 businesses have already hired 118 workers under the program.
Diane Moore, Director of Human Resources at New York Air Brake in Watertown, said, As a New York State employer, New York Air Brake has been the beneficiary of the OJT NEG program. Our production positions require many months of training (particularly the higher level machining jobs). During this training time the employees are not producing at the required production levels. The training funding is instrumental in helping us offset the cost of training while the employees improve their skills to reach maximum output. We also benefit from more efficient recruiting, more targeted training and assistance with training expenses. The Department of Labor helps us find the right talent when we need it, reducing time, effort and money spent on recruiting. Some of our technical skills are hard to find. OJT helps us train the right workers to meet our requirements.
In the Southern Tier Region, 124 businesses have already hired 197 workers under the program.
Tom Crowley, President at Crowley Fabricating in Endicott, said, The OJT NEG program through NYS Department of Labor has helped us tremendously with hiring and training new employees. With the help of the OJT program, we were able to get unemployed individuals back to work in our manufacturing business. Several of our OJT trainees successfully completed the training programs, have advanced their skill levels and have been retained. We are very grateful the OJT program was available to help our business grow.
Richard Sundgren, Machinist at Crowley Fabricating, said, The OJT program allowed me to get a full-time job and learn a new part of the manufacturing business I was unfamiliar with. I completed my OJT in May 2013 and I am now able to operate a very complicated machine with confidence and have found a great career in manufacturing.
In the Hudson Valley Region, 51 businesses have already hired 110 workers under the program.
Karl Horberg of the Dairy Conveyor Corp in Brewster, said, Our experience has been nothing but positive. We have received very well qualified candidates through the program. They are very good additions to our staff. They bring with them some very good qualities, they are anxious and willing to work, they learn easily and they get along well with all the other employees. Im not sure if its because they have been out of work or that theyve worked at other places, but they have contributed much to our organization that we probably would not have gotten from the normal hiring process. It has certainly been a positive experience working with the Department of Labor and especially the OJT NEG program.
In the Finger Lakes Region, 59 businesses have already hired 84 workers under the program.
Russell Western, President/CEO of Three-Sixty Solutions, Inc. in LeRoy, said, Through the program, we have managed to hire an employee who has been unemployed for a long time yet fully qualified for our needs. We are excited by the potential he offers our company as well as the amazing financial support we will benefit from through his training. He is extremely grateful as well. Department of Labor staff members were there for us every step of the way, helping, advising and guiding us through all the requirements, pitfalls and formalities and we are extremely grateful.
Angela Wiesmore, Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Rochester Precision Optics in Henrietta, said, We are happy to have helped a dislocated worker get back into the workforce while meeting the workforce needs of our business. A greater advantage was having access to funds that helped offset the training costs of the employee. The process was very efficient we were involved every step of the way.
John Muscarella, Optical Assembler 1 at Rochester Precision Optics in Henrietta, said, This has been a very beneficial and rewarding opportunity. The program has helped me establish a new career. Rochester Precision Optics has been exceptional at training me and helping me advance along a career path. I have already been able to move into a more advanced position.
In the Capital Region, 46 businesses have already hired 71 workers under the program.
Cathy Honda, Human Resource Manager at M&G DuraVent, Inc. in Albany, said, The New York State Department of Labors Employment and Workforce Center has helped us recently with many programs. I had six opportunities so far to take advantage of the job training when hiring for our manufacturing facility. This program makes it much easier for a small business to take a shot in hiring someone and teaching them a new trade or position. With all my experiences, the associates hired much appreciated having a job and were excited to learn their new positions. I would encourage any small business to reach out to the Labor Department to learn and take advantage of one or all of the programs.
In the Mohawk Valley Region, 131 businesses have already hired 334 workers under the program.
Michael F. Choquette, Training Manager at Revere Copper Products, Inc. in Rome, said, OJT NEG funding assistance is an important part of helping offset the high initial cost of new hire employee training and development. Our manufacturing process is very detailed and extremely complex. Reveres initial OJT process provides a first critical step. Our process is designed to assist new hire trainees in acquiring the job skills, familiarization, and understanding required to be fully successful at the start of their new careers. Revere continuously strives to present our employees with opportunities to learn all skill sets required. Our OJT process is a corner stone in providing their initial education and training and ever so important to work a safe and healthy manufacturing environment. The assistance provided through these grant monies is a key element in accomplishing our goal.
Nora R. Ray, Financial Assistant at Herkimer Foods in Ilion, said, The OJT NEG program has worked very well for us. It has enabled us to bring more people on our payroll sooner by minimizing the risk if someone doesnt work out. So many programs have been cut back and many others require more of an investment than we are able to make in order to qualify. As a small business owner, the OJT grant fits our needs perfectly.
Amanda Flansburg, who was hired as a Receptionist/Clerk at Herkimer Foods through the program, said, Thanks to the OJT NEG contract, I was put on the company payroll more quickly. The OJT program allowed me to improve my skills and because of that I am more successful in my position.
For more information, employers should e-mail: OJT-NEG@labor.ny.gov.
Job seekers should contact their nearest New York State Career Center, which can be located here: http://labor.ny.gov/workforcenypartners/osview.asp.