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Massachusetts Introduces New Hiring and Training Grant Program "HireNow"

On March 23, 2022, Massachusetts announced a $50 Million workforce training and development program called "HireNow." The program awards grants on a first-come, first-serve basis and is aimed at helping people return to work.

The Baker-Polito administration has launched a new hiring and training grant program called “HireNow” to help employers hire and train new employees. The program provides eligible employers with a $4,000 per employee grant which can be used to cover training costs or as a signing bonus for new employees. The administration is hoping that by providing employers with flexible funds to facilitate quick hiring, they can continue to address and support staffing challenges and increase labor force participation.

Our Administration is focused on supporting Massachusetts’ economic growth and getting more people back to work, and the HireNow program is one more tool at our disposal to meet employers’ workforce needs and grow our labor force, the flexible funds from this program will be distributed to employers quickly to help them with training costs, tuition support and other needs.” said Governor Charlie Baker.

As an employer in Massachusetts, your first step is to create a HireNow account with the state. Once an employer account has been successfully created, you can then begin registering newly hired employees – paying attention to two critical deadlines:

  • Employers must register newly hired employees no later than 60 days after their first day of employment.
  • Employers must complete the Organization Registration Process and verify that an employee has retained employment for 60 days or more no later than 120 days after their first date of employment.

Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis for eligible new hires who start working on or after March 23, 2022, and will continue to be awarded for new hires made through December 31, 2022, or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

How can HireNow funds be used?

  • Subsidize additional time spent shadowing more experienced colleagues or on extended on-the-job training during an onboarding period
  • Hire an external training provider to provide technical skills training
  • Hiring incentive – the grant could be utilized to offer a sign-on bonus to newly hired team members who remain employed for 60 days or as a retention bonus
  • Additional benefits, such as tuition reimbursement

How does HireNow work?

  • Employer Eligibility - any Massachusetts employer who is in good standing with Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Revenue obligations and is not de-barred by the state is eligible (excluding federal, state, and municipal governments)
  • Application Process - employers must pre-register online at Mass.Gov/HireNow
  • Eligible Hires - hires must be MA residents employed in MA, be hired after March 23, 2022, be retained for a minimum of 60 days, and be placed in jobs that are at least 30 hours per week.  Hires must be making between $14.25/hour and $42.50/hour
  • Funding - up to $4,000 for each eligible employee hired, with a limit of $400,000 per employer. Funds will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis

To learn more about the program, click here.

Whether you're deciding how best to utilize the funds, or are looking for training programs that would be impactful at your organization, please connect with your OneDigital account team. Our HR Consulting team has a variety of training programs that we can customize to fit your needs.