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May 18, 2022
Mass. Nonprofits Eligible for $4K for Each Newly Hired Employee
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March 26, 2022 — Massachusetts nonprofits are eligible to receive $4,000 for each new employee they hire, grants to be paid under a new hiring and training program announced last week by the Baker-Polito Administration aimed at addressing continued hiring challenges faced by employers and increasing labor force participation.

Funds provided by the program, called HireNow The funds can be used to cover training costs or as a signing bonus for new employees.

“Our Administration is focused on supporting Massachusetts’ economic growth and getting more people back to work, and the HireNow program is one more tool at our disposal to meet employers’ workforce needs and grow our labor force,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “The flexible funds from this program will be distributed to employers quickly to help them with training costs, tuition support and other needs. We are grateful to our partners in the Legislature for allocating the ARPA funds necessary to make this program happen.”

HireNow aims to address hiring challenges faced by employers that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, more than 85,000 workers not participating in the Massachusetts labor market compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, employers’ need for workers has continued to increase, with unfilled job postings up 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels and approximately 200,000 open jobs available across the state.

The administration aims to address these challenges through a variety of efforts, including by expanding access and awareness to its existing, apprenticeships, incumbent worker training programs, the Career Technical Initiative and more.

Local MassHire Workforce Boards are also expanding resources to match employers and workers with training programs, and regions are hiring new staff members to serve as regional “Market Makers” to connect companies to graduates of new education and training programs starting up in their areas funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. These staff members will be regional points of contact to help match employers’ needs with both job-seekers and the skill-building programs needed to successfully fill open jobs. In addition, MassHire Centers are adding staff to work directly with job seekers who want to enroll in new training programs to gain more skills.

The HireNow program will provide resources directly to employers that make it possible to immediately hire new employees and provide them with necessary training to fill open roles. The program will be supported by $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Here are the details:

  • Employer Eligibility: Any Massachusetts employer who is in good standing with Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Revenue obligations and is not de-barred by the state is eligible (excluding federal, state, and municipal governments). Applications must be submitted by the employer, not an education or training partner.

  • Application Process: Employers must pre-register online at Mass.Gov/HireNow by providing employer information. Following the employee’s hire and 60-day retention period, employers will submit a final application for funding. The state will also approve the planned use of the funds (training costs, signing bonus, etc.) when approving the application.

  • Eligible Hires: Hires must be made after March 23, 2022, be retained for a minimum of 60 days, and be placed in jobs that are at least 30 hours per week. New hires need to be Massachusetts residents employed in Massachusetts. There are also limits on compensation:
    • Minimum eligible compensation: $14.25 per hour (minimum wage)
    • Maximum eligible compensation: $42.50 per hour (about $85,000 annualized)
  • Funding: up to $4,000 for each eligible employee hired, with a limit of $400,000 per employer. Funds will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
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