Businesses invited to learn about state-hiring incentive program

ANSONIA - Employers looking for assistance in growing their business are invited to join Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and other state officials at a Sept. 12 conference that will showcase the state’s new Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP UP) that to date has helped put more than 500 workers back on the job.

“STEP UP is helping to put Connecticut back to work and grow our economy one small business at a time,” Lt. Gov. Wyman said. “More than 240 employers have already used this program to hire workers across the employment spectrum, including plant operators and engineers, administrative assistants, marketing support, carpenters, customer service representatives and graphic designers.”

The Sept. 12 Greater Valley STEP UP Conference will be held at the Ansonia Armory, 5 State St., and co-hosted by State Rep. Linda M. Gentile and State Sen. Joseph Crisco, both of whom represent the area. Lt. Gov. Wyman and Secretary of State Denise Merrill will provide remarks. Registration for the free event begins at 7:30 a.m. and the conference will run from 8-10:30 a.m.

Online registration is open before Sept. 10 at Questions can be directed to Dolores Ryan in the Dept. of Labor’s Business Services unit at (203) 455-2602.

Administered by the Department of Labor and the state’s five Workforce Investment Boards, STEP UP provides $20 million in wage reimbursements and training grants to small businesses and manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees. A total of 237 unemployed jobseekers have been hired under the wage-subsidy program, and another 275 under the small manufacturer’s training grant.

A new enhancement to the program allows qualifying retail businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations to participate. Additionally, the program will receive another $10 million that can be applied to wage reimbursements when an employer hires a post-9/11 military veteran.

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