In August, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour announced the STEPS 2 program details and deadlines. This program, administrated directly by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), potentially may benefit a wide variety of businesses in providing reimbursement of wages for qualified employees. The program works to reduce unemployment, stabilize and improve the state's economy, and avert the need to raise taxes. This transitional employment program provides wage subsidies to employers who, in exchange, provide a paid hourly wage and a transferable work skill to workers.
STEPS 2 will subsidize the wages of a new qualified employee hired by any public hospital, private non-profit or for-profit entity in the state over a four-month period. The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and employers must sign up for the program by September 30, 2011.
The program requirements are not as narrow as the previous STEPS program. Businesses must have a current workers' compensation policy or have proof of a self-insured plan, if required by law. The primary criteria for a potential employee to qualify is being unemployed. The potential employee would need to go through the local WIN Job Center to complete the paperwork to be eligible.
For information on the STEPS program, contact your local WIN Job Center representative or contact the Mississippi Department of Employment Security at (888) 844-3577 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://wininmississippi.org/ to find a WIN Job Center location that services your area.
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