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Courtney Welcomes Federal Grant to Prevent Layoffs, Help Working Families

January 16, 2015
Press Release
Norwich, CT—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor announced a $1.2 million grant to Connecticut’s “Shared Work Program” to help keep employees on the job during downturns in their company’s business.
“Helping employers retain valuable workers during a downturn in business is the best way to keep those employees connected to a job, rather than face the total loss of a layoff,” Congressman Courtney said. “I applaud Secretary Perez for awarding these funds, which will bolster our fragile recovery. Commissioner Sharon Palmer and her team are up to the job of implementing smart programs like this to strengthen Connecticut’s economy for workers and their employers.”
The grant—made possible through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which gives the Secretary of Labor the authority to award grants to states to implement or enhance a “Short Time Compensation” program—will help pay the difference in workers’ paychecks if their hours are cut back. This supplemental funding helps employers keep their workers on the payroll, averting layoffs and keeping workers off the unemployment line.
Funding made available through the grant may be used to raise awareness at the state level and enroll employers in an STC program. States with an existing program may also be eligible to receive federal reimbursement for STC benefits paid. Connecticut will use $420,220 of the federal funds awarded for improved administration to the state’s STC program, and will use the remaining $840,439 for promotional activities and to increase employer enrollment into the program.