Local business and economic leaders hope Gov. Andy Beshear’s new incentive for unemployed people to return to work will help fill vacancies in the county.
It was announced on June 24 that the first 15,000 unemployed Kentuckians who re-enter the workforce before July 30 can receive $ 1,500.
Ray Hagerman, president of the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation, said he was unsure how the incentive would affect businesses in Hopkins County.
“Hopefully this will help solve some of the problems we have in terms of understaffing for the jobs we have,” he said.
At a job fair last month, he said there were more than 50 employers represented looking to fill at least 1,200 jobs in the community. On the county’s job search website, he said there were between 500 and 600 jobs represented on the page at a time.
“At the end of the day, there is no doubt that we have over 1,000 jobs to fill, and I hope this incentive will get people to leave the ranks of the unemployed and return to work,” Hagerman said.
According to a press release from Beshear’s office, the governor has set aside $ 22.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds to fund the program to incentivize more people to leave unemployment insurance and start filling vacancies across the Commonwealth.
“We want all Kentuckians to work and participate as we rush out of this pandemic with our booming economy,” Beshear said. “We wanted the right solution – not a Red State or Blue State solution – to thread that needle correctly to energize our thriving economy while looking for those still trying to emerge from this unique pandemic that is desperate for help. . It is a step in the right direction for our people, our economy and our employers.
To be eligible, an applicant must be a resident of Kentucky, be employed by a Kentucky business between June 24 and July 30, and have an active UI claim by June 23.
Employers will be responsible for completing an online application verifying that employees accepted a job between June 24 and July 30, according to the press release. They must also verify that employees have worked 120 hours within four weeks of the new job.
A full overview of the eligibility criteria is available on the Return to Work Incentive website, teamkybacktowork.ky.gov, and the request will be available from August 1. The Public Protection Cabinet will administer the program and process applications.
The last day to apply for the Kentucky Team Return to Work Incentive is October 1.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting that mass vaccination was the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods relative to services. The report also found that Kentucky’s manufacturing industry has outperformed nations since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May showed the state’s financial outlook improving to stable, reflecting the Commonwealth’s strong economic recovery. April sales tax receipts from the state set a monthly record of $ 486.5 million, as did vehicle use tax receipts at over $ 64 million.