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The Times
  • $500,000 in worker training grants still available to businesses

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  • ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday nearly $500,000 in job training grants is still available to businesses that hire long-term unemployed New Yorkers.
    The funding is available through the On-the-Job Training National Emergency Grant. The 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 Cuomo in a news release. “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 Rivera in the release. “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 Mohawk Valley region, 131 businesses have hired 334 workers under the program.
    “OJT NEG funding assistance is an important part of helping offset the high initial cost of new hire employee training and development,” Michael Choquette, training manager at Revere Copper Products in Rome, said in the release. “Our manufacturing process is very detailed and extremely complex. Revere’s 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.”
    “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 doesn’t 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,” Nora Ray, financial assistant at Herkimer Foods in Ilion, said in the release.
    Page 2 of 2 - Amanda Flansburg was hired as a receptionist and clerk at Herkimer Foods through the program.
    “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,” she said in the release.
    For more information, employers should email OJT-NEG@labor.ny.gov.
    Job seekers should contact their nearest New York State Career Center, which can be located at http://labor.ny.gov/workforcenypartners/osview.asp.
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