Orange County Insight September 2021

Return to Earn Grant Program Modified The Return to Earn program has been modified and the hiring bonus match is no longer required. The new guidance noted below & program application can be found on the Virginia Career Works - Piedmont Region website at . The Piedmont Workforce Development Board has been awarded a $92,155 grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia to assist small businesses to incentivize unemployed individuals to return to the workforce. This innovative program serves as a dual - purpose initiative to help unemployed Virginian ’ s transition back into living wage jobs, particularly in the childcare industry, while providing support to small businesses to assist with their hiring needs. While many companies are offering hiring bonuses, the Return to Earn Grant Program serves small businesses that may not have the resources to provide this financial support. The initial launch of this program will be funded through Virginia ’ s Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) set aside.

Funding Criteria

a) The initiative will reimburse up to $500 that a qualifying small business pays directly to a new employee hired after May 31st, 2021, with a maximum of 25 new hires per employer. Small businesses may provide larger hiring bonuses to new hires in association with the Return to Earn Program, but the state will only reimburse up to $500 per employee. b) Only employers with fewer than 100 employees across all Virginia locations may qualify for reimbursable funds. The employment facility where new hires will be placed must be in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the employer must also be incorporated in Virginia. c) Wages for new hires must be a minimum of $15.00 per hour. The position must beW - 2 employment but can be part - or full - time. Funds may only be provided to new employees hired by the employer, and the individual hired must be currently unemployed (as attested by the individual). As of August 30, 2021, the new hire receiving the hiring bonus must have been previously unemployed for one month (30 calendar days) or longer as attested to by the new hire. d) It is strongly recommended that businesses do not provide the funds to the new hire until the new hire has remained with the company for at least three months

e) Any one individual may receive only one hiring bonus.

f) New hires must be hired no later than December 31, 2021.

For the qualifying small business to be reimbursed, all forms and documentation must be completed, signed, and submitted with paid invoices to verify expenditures.

If you have questions about your specific project, please contact Dave Kilgore at the email address shown below. Please email the signed Employer Agreement , including the excel spreadsheet and copies of paid invoices/receipts, to

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