Butler County DHR introduces new subsidized employment program

Published 6:12 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

By Matt Hutcheson

The Butler County Department of Human Resources is introducing a subsidized employment program under the umbrella of the JOBS program.

The JOBS program helps individuals receiving family assistance (commonly referred to as welfare) in various aspects of finding and keeping a job, ranging from building a resume to job skills training.

The subsidized employment program is designed to take an even more direct approach in the job search and retention process.

Essentially, the DHR partners with potential employers to fill vacant positions with individuals who receive family assistance and have been unable to find jobs. For a period of twelve months after any hire, the DHR then reimburses the employer for the gross wages paid to the employee.

According to Butler County DHR employee Jordan Peavy, the job subsidy program offers a host of potential benefits to both employers and people receiving financial assistance.

“People who join the job subsidy program, they’re learning [job] skills…it’s helping to build a resume,” said Peavy.

Since the program is still relatively new, the DHR is actively searching for interested employers to participate.

“We have six open slots right now,” Peavy said. “And [we’re] trying to get more.”

Employers that hire a subsidized employee are required to offer the same wages and benefits received by employees with similar responsibilities and obviously cannot pay in cash to receive the reimbursement.

The DHR will encourage employers to retain the subsidized employee after the initial 12-month period.

Employers for “non-reimbursed employee expenses” can also claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Eligible potential employees are, according to the DHR, those “currently participating in job readiness or job skills training, or other work experience programs, and have demonstrated a willingness to become employed.”

“I know the CEMP program works,” said Peavy, “and this is essentially the same thing except [the participant] is getting paid.” The community employment, or CEMP program, places participants in unpaid positions to gain work experience. “People have learned skills and they have retained their jobs… I know people that have been employed for five years now because of this program.”

Employers interested in participating in the subsidized employment program can contact the Butler County DHR to schedule a meeting for more detailed information.