A Win-Win for Business Growth and Work Experience

Nebraskans have a strong work ethic, and our labor force is one of our most important economic strengths. Nebraska businesses, especially small businesses, rely on our workers to help create economic growth and success. LB 1136 would utilize existing funds to provide employers opportunities to bring on additional employees with time-limited wage subsidies to help their businesses grow. It would also provide on the job training to Nebraska workers in need of meaningful work experience. Indeed, the bill would provide wage subsidies for employers hiring participants in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program.

LB 1136 is poised to be a win-win for business growth and work experience because it is designed to create successful job placements, it is modeled after successful programs, and it utilizes existing funds for job creation purposes.

[DDET LB 1136 Testimony] February 15, 2012

RE: Leveraging Resources for Job Creation

Dear Senators,

My name is Kate Bolz and I am an Associate Director of the Low Income Economic Opportunity Program at Nebraska Appleseed, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest law firm and advocacy organization working for equal justice and full opportunity for all Nebraskans. I am here today in support of LB 1136.

Nebraskans have a strong work ethic, and our labor force is one of our most important economic strengths. Nebraska businesses, especially small businesses, rely on our workers to help create economic growth and success.

LB 1136 would utilize existing funds to provide employers opportunities to bring on additional employees with time-limited wage subsidies to help their businesses grow. It would also provide on the job training to Nebraska workers in need of meaningful work experience. Indeed, the bill would provide wage subsidies for employers hiring participants in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program.

LB 1136 is poised to be a win-win for business growth and work experience because it is designed to create successful job placements, it is modeled after successful programs, and it utilizes existing funds for job creation purposes.

Specifically, LB 1136 allows agencies administering the ADC program to strategically work with non-profits and employers through planning and retention services to develop quality placements and it provides opportunities for those partners to provide job-preparation and assessment services for clients.

The capacity to do the up-front work to ensure job success is key for ADC participants. Uneven employment history, for reasons ranging from illness to job loss, often plague the success of ADC recipients in search of employment. Moreover, 65% of ADC participants are young (under the age of 30), which contributes to a lack of job history#. At the same time, many are eager for meaningful work – LB 1136 would help to provide meaningful employment opportunities for ADC participants.

Furthermore, LB 1136 is modeled after successful wage subsidy programs, which have effectively created jobs nationwide. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed 39 states to implement wage subsidy programs and created 260,000 job placements.[1] LB 1136 would ramp up employment quickly by targeting in-demand industries and requiring increasing employer contributions to the wages.

Finally, LB 1136 uses existing funds for job creation. Nebraska has a “rainy day” fund for the ADC program that has reached $16 million. During the economic downturn, ADC caseloads in Nebraska remained steady, indicating that the nationwide “rainy day” did not significantly decrease the fund or increase the caseload. [2] LB 1136 proposes using $1 million, or 6.25% of this fund for job creation.

We encourage you to pass this job creating win-win legislation.

Sincerely,

Kate Bolz
Nebraska Appleseed

[1] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Creating Subsidized Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Parents, 2011, http://www.cbpp.org/files/2-16-11tanf.pdf
[2] Administration for Children and Families, Caseload Data, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/data-reports/caseload/caseload_current.htm (8,080 families participated in 2011, 8,369 participated in 2009, a difference of only 3.4%).[/DDET]

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