NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk company is using state funds to hire and train a new employee, all as part of a new jobs program called STEP-UP, according to a statement from state Sen. Bob Duff.
"Even helping a small business hire one new worker can boost productivity and help that person get back on his feet," Duff, D-Norwalk, said in a statement. "STEP-UP gives businesses like Mayan Corp. the support they need to expand, thrive and create jobs. That is what economic revival is all about."
Mayan is a small manufacturing company on Day Street. The Subsidized Training & Employment Program, or STEP-UP, provides subsidies and grants to help small businesses hire more people. A total of 135 state residents are being hired through the program, which so far has resulted in 65 new jobs at 45 companies.
The program provides two types of hiring incentives – a scaled six-month wage subsidy or a small manufacturer training grant that provides up to $12,500 over a six-month period. Qualified participants are typically residents who may have some job qualifications but who require on-the-job training.
"STEP-UP is helping us reduce our costs and train our new employee," Ronald Pair, co-owner of Mayan, which makes high-end leather goods for designers of handbags and luggage, said in a statement. "It is definitely good for business."
State Reps. Chris Perone and Bruce Morris, both D-Norwalk, as well as Terrie Wood, R-Darien, also expressed support for the program in the statement.
In total, STEP-UP will provide $20 million in subsidies and training grants to help Connecticut small businesses hire more employees.
To be eligible for either program, a company must employ less than 50 people and training must be provided at the business site. The new employee must be an unemployed jobseeker.
Small businesses and unemployed jobseekers seeking information on the STEP-UP program should visit the Connecticut Department of Labor's website at http://ct.gov/dol/StepUp to download a fact sheet, contact information and inquiry forms.