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(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced that New Hampshire has won a $675,314 competitive On-the-Job (OJT) Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  The award, which will be administered by the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, will support OJT programs that help unemployed workers gain new skills to find and retain employment.

Shaheen recently introduced legislation with U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) designed to expand OJT programs across the country.

“On-the-Job Training programs are a proven way to put people back to work,” said Shaheen, a member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “By teaching unemployed workers new skills, these programs not only help people find new jobs, but they help companies in emerging industries find qualified employees.  Under the current system, On-the-Job Training programs are highly underutilized despite being highly effective.  I will continue to work for passage of my legislation so that more states are encouraged to implement these programs.”

Today’s OJT grant is in addition to an initial $972,474 award the state received from the Department of Labor on June 25, bringing New Hampshire’s total to $1,647,788.  New Hampshire was awarded the supplemental grant based on the success it has achieved in implementing the first award, and was one of only four states to receive a supplemental grant.

“The On-the-Job Training grant is great news for both job seekers looking for well-paying career opportunities as well as for New Hampshire employers who are looking for trained and skilled workers in every sector of our economy,” said George Bald, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.  “The award also recognizes the strong partnerships that have been developed between employers, and economic and workforce development system partners.”

Bald said the previous OJT grant awarded to New Hampshire had already produced over 60 new on-the-job training opportunities for long-term unemployed job seekers throughout the state and he expected the new grant to produce 50 or more new opportunities.

OJT grants offer a method to jump start re-employment for dislocated workers experiencing prolonged unemployment, by enabling employers to create training and job opportunities for these individuals. Participants will be given a chance to “earn and learn,” as they develop applicable skills while earning a paycheck. Employers participating in these on-the-job training projects will receive partial reimbursement to offset the cost of training workers. The projects will help workers become proficient in needed skills more quickly, which will serve to encourage employers to hire workers sooner than perhaps initially planned, facilitating the private sector hiring of well-qualified individuals to contribute to their bottom line and spur economic recovery.