SHAHEEN ANNOUNCES NEARLY $1 MILLION FOR ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

Job training program has proven track record of putting Americans back to work

June 25, 2010

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded New Hampshire $972,474 for on-the-job training programs.  Shaheen has consistently called for increased funding for these programs to help unemployed workers in New Hampshire and across the nation gain skills in new fields and connect with employers.

"As our economy continues to recover, it is critical that we help connect dislocated workers with resources that will help them get back to work," said Shaheen.  "On-the-job training programs help equip workers with the skills they need to reenter the workforce, connect small businesses with the skilled workers they need to be successful and are a smart investment for our economy."

According to a report published in June 2009 by the Center for Labor Market Studies, 75 percent of the rise in total unemployment between May 2008 and May 2009 can be attributed to permanent job losses rather than to temporary layoffs.  Many workers will need to enter new professions to find employment.  On-the-job training programs match participants with paid training that will give workers the skills and opportunities that lead to sustained employment.  In 2008, 80 percent of the adult and dislocated worker on-the-job training participants were still employed at their training sites or in other positions nine months after having finished the program.

The new funding is part of $75 million in emergency grants available for states through the Department of Labor.  The one-time grants are made possible with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Earlier this month, Shaheen introduced S. 3459, the On-the-Job Training Act of 2010, with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) to maintain support for on-the-job training programs after Recovery Act funding expires.

Shaheen sent a letter to the Department of Labor in support of New Hampshire's grant application.  The full text of the letter to the Department of Labor follows:

June 15, 2010

Ms. Jane Oates

Assistant Secretary of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor

Frances Perkins Building

200 Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Oates,

I am writing to express my strong support for the National Emergency Grant application submitted by the New Hampshire Office of Workforce Opportunity to provide hundreds of dislocated workers with on-the-job training, grow small businesses and create jobs.

Too many of the country's jobless workers lack the education and occupational skills to become re-employed in a competitive workforce.  According to a report published in June of 2009 by the Center for Labor Market Studies, 75% of the rise in total unemployment between May 2008 and May 2009 was attributable to permanent job losses rather than to temporary layoffs.  Those jobs are not coming back, and many workers will need to enter new professions to find employment. On-the-job training is a proven way to help workers make this transition.

On-the-job training also helps small businesses grow.  By sharing the cost of training new employees, OJT allows businesses to hire workers they would otherwise be unable to afford.  In a recent survey, 80 percent of businesses indicated that they would be more likely to hire new workers or do so earlier if they had access to an on-the-job training program.  The program assists unemployed workers trying to move into new industries while expanding the capacity and productivity of participating companies.  If the state's application is funded, more than 200 New Hampshire residents will have the support they need to reenter the workforce.

I applaud the Department of Labor for making this grant available to support dislocated workers and I hope we can work together to strengthen our national investment in OJT. To that end, I recently introduced the On-The-Job Training Act of 2010 with Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Shaheen

United States Senator

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