By Ronica Shannon
Register News Writer
Several Kentucky businesses are taking advantage of a program that provides funding for them to hire unemployed citizens.
The WorkNow Kentucky program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program is a temporary subsidized employment program available to low-income parents and youth through emergency federal funding provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant. The funding will continue through Sept. 18.
There will be an open certification session Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Madison County Emergency Management Agency at 560 S. Keeneland Drive.
This event will help those seeking employment to become registered with the WorkNow Kentucky program.
“With unemployment in double digits, our number one goal is putting Kentuckians back to work,” said Gov. Steve Beshear in a statement given June 25. “This summer, we’re using $46 million in federal stimulus funds to create the WorkNow Kentucky program, which will put almost 10,000 people back to work across this state.”
The program aims to jump-start job creation by paying the wages and benefits of eligible participants who are hired through the program, he said.
“We’ve had a decent turnout, but we’re looking for more,” said Diane Dearinger, business service specialist with the Bluegrass Area Development District.
About 10 Madison County businesses are participating in the program, along with about 10 employees.
“We’re looking for more on both sides,” Dearinger said.
The positions available range from entry-level positions, administrative, general labor and manufacturing as a few examples.
Individuals interested in becoming a part of the program can be from the following groups: Between ages 16 and 24 living with parent(s) or caretaker; a parent living with a child 18 years old or younger who is attending high school; recipients of Kentucky’s KTAP cash assistance program; or family income level is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
To enroll in the program, each participant also must be a Kentucky resident and a legal U.S. citizen.
WorkNow Kentucky jobs pay at least $7.25 an hour and up, according to information found at worknow.ky.gov/worknowjobseeker.htm.
WorkNow applications can be completed online at https://selfreg.ky.gov/SignInPage.aspx.
Jobs are available in a variety of areas including public (state and local government), private business/industry and non-profit agencies.
Employers for this program can be public, private, non-profit, for-profit, a state or local government entity.
Jobs may be created for a special project or to meet existing business needs and certain worksheet limitations may apply.
Employers who want to become a WorkNow Kentucky employer can register online by visiting https://e3.ky.gov/worknow.
After registering, a local WorkNow program staff member will contact the employer and make a worksite agreement.
After this process is complete, employers can begin interviewing eligible applicants.
More information about WorkNow Kentucky can be obtained by calling the Central Kentucky Job Center at 624-2564.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6608.