Appleseed very enthusiastically supported a bill during the 2013 Nebraska Legislature session that created a pilot program to encourage Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies.
The bill, LB 368, introduced by State Senator Sue Crawford, was a win-win both for businesses looking to grow and hard-working Nebraskans who needed a chance to prove themselves in the workforce with meaningful work experience.
Now, Nebraska is putting the program into practice with the launch of the “GoodHire” program in partnership with Goodwill Industries. Through the initiative, employers will receive up to $4,000 for a worker’s wages for the first six months of employment if the individual receives benefits from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
“It creates that incentive to try to encourage investment, but then it steps out at six months and you’re back to having the employer and the employee in the marketplace,” Senator Crawford recently told Goodwill. “It doesn’t create long-term dependence on the part of the employer or employee. It is really a jump-start.”
Appleseed is excited to see the results of the GoodHire program. Other states have already started similar programs and seen great success. When employees are able to get valuable experience and develop their skills, they will more easily find steady jobs and transition off public assistance programs. Plus, they will help small businesses grow at a reduced cost to the employer.
“Nebraskans have a strong work ethic, and our labor force is one of our most important economic strengths,” Appleseed Economic Justice Director James Goddard said. “Nebraska businesses, especially small businesses, rely on our workers to help create economic growth and success.”
Workers who are interested in this opportunity must first complete an orientation and assessment with “Employment First,” part of Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program. Local Goodwills will then connect those who successfully complete the program with a group of employers looking to hire.