Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Bond Commission has approved $9.6 million for the continuation of the state's Subsidized Training & Employment Program (STEP UP), which provides small businesses and manufacturers two types of hiring incentives -- a scaled, six month Small Business Wage Subsidy Program and a Small Manufacturer Training Grant Program that provides up to $12,500 over a six-month period.
"The fact of the matter is that the success of STEP UP depends on the true job creators in this economy -- our small business community -- which accounts for 94% of Connecticut's employers," said Governor Malloy. "In its first year, STEP UP has encouraged hundreds of small businesses to hire one or more unemployed individuals to fill quality, well-paying jobs. To date, over one thousand jobseekers have been employed through STEP UP and I am committed to seeing that this worthwhile program receives the funding it needs to continue to help the state's small businesses expand their workforce, create jobs and strengthen our economy."
Eligible companies, defined as a small business or manufacturer with not more than 100 employees, can apply for one program to subsidize the first six months of costs of employment and training of each new employee - eligible employees must be unemployed at the time of hire.
Administered by the Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) and the state's five Workforce Investment Boards, STEP UP was signed into law by the Governor as part of the General Assembly's 2011 bipartisan Jobs Bill. The DOL has since worked with 415 small businesses statewide to employ 1,300 individuals.
In June 2012, legislation was passed to expand STEP UP to include an Armed Forces component, known as the Unemployed Armed Forces Member Subsidized Training and Employment Program, which is similar to the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program and available to eligible employers of any size that hire an unemployed veteran.
The $9.6 million will be split equally between STEP UP's Wage Subsidy and Manufacturing Training Grant programs and is anticipated to support the hiring and training of up to an additional 1,300 individuals over the course of the next year.
Employers or jobseekers interested in learning more about STEP UP can visit the Department of Labor's website at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/OWC/StepUp/StepUp.htm. The site includes contact information for regional STEP UP coordinators who can provide additional details, employer application forms, and assistance in locating potential employees eligible to take part in the program.