Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new initiative to combat long-term unemployment in New York State.
To help New Yorkers seeking jobs, the state will distribute $6 million in federal grants to companies that hire long-term unemployed individuals, as well as deploy a mobile response team to assist individuals seeking work in high unemployment areas.
"New York State's efforts to help long-term, unemployed individuals find jobs have been recognized across the nation, and this additional $6 million will be a shot in the arm as we continue to put New Yorkers back to work and get our economy back on track," Governor Cuomo said. "With NY Works projects creating new jobs and supporting economic development all across the state, this initiative will help train workers and connect the unemployed with opportunities to launch a successful career."
The $6 million in federal grants will provide wage subsidies to businesses that hire a new employee. The Governor has directed the State Department of Labor and Empire State Development to work with local workforce development agencies to promote the available federal training dollars in every region of the state. The Administration will partner with employers which used these grants in the past to hire long-term unemployed workers as a way to promote the proven record of job creation this type of funding can bring.
The federal grant is the second "On-the-Job Training" grant given to New York State. New York was nationally recognized last year for its work using this type of grant to help unemployed individuals find jobs, and additional funding was granted to New York to expand its back-to-work initiatives.
State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera said, "The Governor's multi-pronged initiative to help New Yorkers who are struggling with long-term unemployment will offer proven resources to help them find work. Getting a job can be a tremendous hurdle -- especially if you've been out of work for more than 26 weeks and New York State is here to help."
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "Helping the unemployed find work should be job number one, and these federal dollars will do just that. New York has a long record of finding innovative ways to help the unemployed find work, and we are continuing in that tradition."
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Governor Cuomo's plan to leverage these federal dollars is an important step forward towards addressing the long-term unemployment crisis. Congress must come together and take charge of job creation for the short and long-term unemployed as its own."
U.S. Representative Nita Lowey said, "The longer someone has been out of work, the more difficult it becomes to find a job. We must not be content to watch our neighbors suffer long-term unemployment when we have the opportunity to help. I commend Governor Cuomo for this innovative effort to promote hiring and help the long-term unemployed connect with job opportunities."
U.S. Representative José E. Serrano said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his innovative responses to the dire problem of people who have been out of work for long periods of time. People in this situation often need a helping hand to get out of the catch-22 that long-term unemployment can become. With these bold plans for action, our state will become a national leader in dealing with this issue and help a great number of people in the process."
U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy said, "The rise in the long-term unemployed is a consequence of the recent economic downturn that must be addressed. I'm glad that a significant amount of federal funding will go to help the long-term unemployed find jobs and I'm grateful that Governor Cuomo has been such an effective steward of this money -- I'm confident that it will help connect yet more New Yorkers to more jobs in the days ahead."
U.S. Representative Tim Bishop said, "Returning the long-term unemployed to the workforce is a top national priority, and I strongly support federal funding to help employers find the skilled workers they need among the chronically unemployed. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his innovative plan to leverage federal resources to put New York back to work."
Further, the Governor's initiative will include a Mobile Reemployment Response Team to target areas that have the highest rate of long-term unemployment in New York. The team will set up one and two day operations at libraries, schools and community centers. Unemployment insurance recipients who have received 27 or more weeks of benefits to date will be invited, although all New Yorkers will be welcome. Services will be tailored to the long-term job seeker and include resume writing and interviewing, skills matching, tailored job leads and training opportunity counseling, amongst other services. Prior to arriving, the specialized team will use DOL's local business service representatives to canvass local employers for job opportunities that meet the terms of the federal grant.
The Mobile Reemployment Response Team is an enhanced version of the state's Rapid Response team. Rapid Response has a proven record of helping laid-off workers find jobs. Since January 2011, Rapid Response teams have met with thousands of newly laid-off New Yorkers and helped connect 9,800 individuals to jobs.
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