As a result of the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, also known as the federal economic stimulus package, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) in partnership with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) received federal funding to place 10,000 CalWORKs participants and some dislocated workers into Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) in the public, private and non-profit sectors through September 2010.
To weather the economic downturn, hundreds of local businesses, non-profits and public agencies have already tapped into millions of these federal stimulus funds to employ new workers in subsidized employment at virtually no cost to their businesses. Nearly 5,000 qualified job candidates have been employed through One-Stop and WorkSource Centers across LA County using federal funding to cover their wage costs.
“This is a golden opportunity for area businesses trying to stay competitive and position themselves to expand,” stated Jan Vogel, director of the South Bay Workforce Investment Board which administers L.A. County’s Subsidized Employment Program. “We have heard from numerous employers praising both the speed at which we help them bring on new hires, as well as the quality of the people they interview and bring on board.”
TSE covers 80 percent of the costs of hiring a qualified CalWORKs participant and the employer covers the remaining 20 percent, which is offset wholly through the costs of in-kind supervision incurred when hiring a subsidized employee.
“The people we hired through this program are developing into valued employees,” says Julian Keeling, CEO of Consolidated International (CII) in Los Angeles. CII recruited seven TSE participants.
“CII now is operating in a more efficient manner with higher levels of service to our customers. Our new employees have been quick to learn, are enthusiastic about their work and are completely dependable. Most importantly they have blended effortlessly and without friction into CII’s existing staff. The misguided impression that the unemployed either are unwilling or unable to work is totally false.”
“It put a lot of people back to work who were pretty much at the bottom and not knowing what’s [going to]happen and how they’re [going to]pay that next bill,” says Ms. L., a single mother who was laid off from her previous job a year ago. She is one of the 20 participants Valencia-based Pacific Lock Company brought on board at $10 an hour, assembling padlock parts with the prospect of being hired by Pacific Lock as a full-time unsubsidized employee after the TSE period expires.
Los Angeles based Executive Financial Enterprises (EFE) is another company that desperately needed an administrative assistant. Tapping into the TSE pool, they recruited a CalWORKs participant on a trial basis on Oct 12, 2009. EFE management was so impressed with the quality of work provided by this TSE participant that they recruited seven more participants by the end of October 2009, and filled their understaffed night shift’s needs by bringing on board an additional five TSE participants a few days later. The EFE executive management is planning on an On-The-Job Training program for these participants with the goal of placing several of them into permanent, unsubsidized employment within the company.
The employers who have hired TSE participants are extremely pleased with the quality of staff they have added to their workforce and many of them are considering offering full-time unsubsidized employment to some of the TSE participants currently working for them.
Los Angeles area local businesses are encouraged to join us and seize this unique opportunity to meet their hiring needs at the same time help boost the economy. For more information on the TSE Program visit www.employmentstimulus.org or call (310) 970-7796.
Philip L. Browning is the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.