STEP UP provides wage subsidies and training grants

As of April 3, 45 small businesses in Connecticut had begun participating in the Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP UP), a new state initiative designed to promote job creation by providing incentives to employers that hire unemployed jobseekers. Sixty-five new employees had been hired, and an additional 135 jobseekers were in the process of being hired.

New jobs created so far include customer service representatives, machine operators, office assistants, carpenters, mechanics, equipment installers, fabricators, dispatch managers, tool grinders, help desk technicians, and process engineers: with hourly wages from $10 to $28.85.

Wage Subsidies and Training Grants

Created by last October's bipartisan jobs bill, STEP UP provides two types of hiring incentives: a scaled, six-month wage subsidy and a small-manufacturer training grant that offers up to $12,500 over a six-month period. In total, the program will distribute $20 million in subsidies and training grants.

Qualified participants typically have some of the necessary job qualifications but require on-the-job training to meet employer needs.

State DOL Commissioner Glenn Marshall

"The incentives offered through STEP UP are helping employers make the decision to hire individuals who show tremendous potential but need more training," says Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall. "The positive response to STEP UP from the business community provides further validation that Connecticut's economy is recovering and the number of job opportunities is growing. We are grateful to Governor Malloy and the General Assembly for having the vision to approve an initiative that benefits both employers and jobseekers."

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a wage subsidy or training grant, a company must employ fewer than 50 people, and training must be provided at the business site. The new employee must be an unemployed jobseeker, and those hired under the wage subsidy program must meet certain income requirements and reside in specific municipalities, based on population or unemployment rates.

Take the Next STEP UP

For more information, contact the STEP UP representative in your region:

  • Southwest Region (cities and towns in the Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, and Trumbull areas): Carmen A. Nieves: cnieves@workplace.org or 203.610.8478
  • Northwest Region (Danbury, Kent, Naugatuck, Torrington, and Waterbury areas): Steve Gray: sgray.ctwbs@ct.gov or 203.574.6971, ext. 464
  • South Central Region (Hamden, Meriden, Middletown, New Haven, Old Saybrook, and Wallingford areas): Ann Harrison: aharrison.ctwbs@ct.gov or 203.624.1493, ext. 267
  • North Central Region (Bloomfield, Bristol, East Hartford, Hartford, and New Britain areas): Janet Gemmiti: jgemmiti@capitalworkforce.org or 860.899.3445
  • Eastern Region (Groton, Killingly, New London, Norwich, and Windham areas): Linda Riquier: lriquier.ctwbs@ct.gov or 860.786.6281

You'll find detailed information about STEP UP here.