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$$$ available to train new hires

River Region employers invited to program Friday

LAPLACE — Business owners looking to hire additional employees may be eligible to receive financial assistance of up to $5,000 per new hire in a unique training program offered by Region One of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Region One — representing eight parishes including St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James — was awarded $1.8 million by the U.S. Department of Labor geared to target job-driven training solutions and connect the unemployed to jobs.

With a goal to train a minimum of 375 individuals in mostly work-based training programs, Region One officials said money is available to qualifying business owners to provide wage reimbursement as part of its On-the-Job Training component.

The program serves to encourage training in high-demand, high-wage jobs in the industries that are driving employment demand in Southeast Louisiana — construction, manufacturing, health care and information technology.

“We aren’t saying that every individual will be eligible, but for those who are, this program can really help to offset the costs of training,” Region One’s Regional Business Strategies Coordinator Jennifer Barnett said, adding the potential financial benefit to employers is between $3,000 to $5,000 per new hire trainee.

“It is rare that a new hire has all of the skills needed to fill open job positions,” Barnett said.

“This program helps cover some of the extraordinary costs associated with getting those eligible individuals up-to-speed in high-demand occupations. The employer gets to train the individual to meet their exact needs, and the employee starts a path to a new career.”

Barnett said employers receive reimbursement in order to compensate for the typical hiring/training costs, such as lost productivity, during any new hire’s learning curve.

A “Money Available To Expand Your Workforce” informational session about the program will be held at from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the River Region Chamber of Commerce’s Resource Center, located at 394 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace.

The free session is for employers who have at least two full-time employees and offer positions that pay at least $10 an hour.

Employers must also carry Worker’s Compensation and pay into the Unemployment Insurance system.

River Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chassity McComack said as part of the Chamber’s strategic growth initiative, it is striving to strengthen partnerships to be a valuable resource for small businesses.

“We are also strengthening communication lines with local economic development groups to be more additive and supportive by offering seminars such as these to help compliment their services,” McComack said of Friday’s event.

“Since the purchase of the Chamber’s new office, we are positioned to host these offerings in a professional, multi-media setting.”

Contact Barnett at jbarnett.laworks@gmail.com for additional information on the program or informational session.