Hertford County applies for JobBoost

Published 8:39 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WINTON – A unique opportunity has all the intangibles to link Hertford County business owners with potential job seekers, complete with state subsidized wages.

Last week, the Hertford County Department of Social Services was notified of their eligibility to participate in JobBoost, a program promoted by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and offered through the state’s Division of Social Services.

“We’ve been invited to participate in Phase II of the JobBoost program,” stated Avis Murphy, the Work First Supervisor for Hertford County Social Services. “As of right now we’re engaged in the early stages of this process, which involves the solicitation of businesses here in our county to see if they will partner with us.”

Murphy said that submitting Hertford County’s proposal back to the state does not guarantee acceptance into the program, but she sees that as a challenge rather than an obstacle.

“We’re moving forward with this; it’s a great deal for our local businesses as well as a way to put people to work,” Murphy said, adding that letters are being handed out to local businesses in an effort to evaluate interest in the program.

“Once the state receives our proposal, they will evaluate our information as well as reviewing the local unemployment rates and the number of potential TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) participants,” she added.

Murphy said Hertford County DSS could expect notification of whether or not they are accepted into the JobBoost program no later than June 3.

How It Works

JobBoost will reimburse employers 75 percent of wages, ranging from a minimum of $6 per hour to a maximum of $10 per hour over a 20-week period.  It will be the responsibility of the hiring employer to provide remaining wages in the wage range or higher. The employer will also be responsible for all taxes or other wage benefits.

It is a requirement that all participating employers commit to hiring any employee in a permanent capacity at the conclusion of the 20-week subsidized period, if the employee has performed according to the job expectations.

Counties will be permitted to allocate up to 10 percent of their total funding for administrative costs, child care assistance, transportation, and other TANF eligible job-related costs for subsidized employees.

Funds for the JobBoost Program will be available through June 30, 2012 or until spent or a maximum of nine months following the implementation date, whichever is less.  However, each subsidized placement is limited to a maximum of 20 weeks.

Hertford County business owners interested in partnering with the local DSS office in the JobBoost program are urged to contact Murphy at 358-7830.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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