With President Obama’s State of the Union Speech expected to focus on job creation and retention, Los Angeles County has already reached a major milestone today in job creation. The County’s goal to create 10,000 temporary jobs locally has been achieved, but was also exceeded this week. As of today, 10,044 men, women, and young adults have been hired into jobs created by the program.
On March 3, 2009, Supervisor Knabe introduced the 10,000 Jobs Program, which utilizes almost $200 million in federal stimulus funding to create temporary subsidized employment opportunities in County departments, private sector employers, non-profit organizations, and in cities across Los Angeles County for CalWORKs welfare recipients.
CalWORKs is a welfare-to-work program that uses federal funding to provide temporary financial assistance and employment focused services to families. Most parents are also required to participate in employment services programs with the goal of finding work and getting off welfare permanently. The County’s 10,000 Jobs Program is an expansion of this effort. This portion of stimulus dollars must be used towards benefitting welfare recipients, lifting people off welfare rolls and from being a burden on taxpayers, and putting them into temporary jobs that may lead to permanent employment.
Under the rules of the federal funding, 80-percent of the cost of a subsidized worker will be covered by the government, and the employer is only responsible for 20-percent of the overall cost. The 20-percent can be further reduced by an employer’s supervision and training costs. Even though the jobs are located throughout the County, the South Bay Workforce Investment Board acts as the employer of record. They perform payroll functions, pre-screen candidates, and absorb Workers Compensation liability. A requirement for participating employers is that subsidized workers cannot displace existing employees.
More than 500 businesses across the County have hired employees through the program. Several cities have also hired workers through the program and more than 700 participants are actually working directly for the County, doing temporary seasonal jobs.
It is a tremendous achievement that we have surpassed the goal of creating 10,000 local jobs in such a short time, but we will not stop there, said Knabe. To recover our local economy, we are going to need to create thousands of more jobs, which is why the County is working with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to extend this funding, get the most out of it we possibly can, and create as many more jobs as we can before this funding eventually expires.
Even though the County’s 10,000 jobs goal was been reached, funding is still available and jobs are still being created. Two resources are available for employers looking to hire workers or for those looking for a job. The first is the County’s telephone hotline, 211. The second is a dedicated website, www.employmentstimulus.org