Posts Tagged ‘NH Employment Security’
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) has been awarded $19.9 million, the largest grant in the System’s history, to develop training programs that will support NH’s advanced manufacturing industry.
The funds will enable the state’s seven community colleges, located in every region of New Hampshire, to develop programs that prepare individuals for skilled employment to meet current and emerging workforce needs in advanced manufacturing in New Hampshire. The programs will focus on displaced workers and other job-seekers by providing training opportunities at multiple professional levels in skills linked to regional employment.
The CCSNH grant proposal was titled the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership: Elevating NH’s Workforce to Meet the High-Tech Skill Demands Of NH’s Rapidly Advancing Manufacturing Sector, or “Ramp-Up.” “This program is all about bringing high-quality jobs to New Hampshire, ensuring that we have the workforce to fill those jobs, enable business located here to grow, attract new companies, and increase economic activity,” said J. Bonnie Newman, Chancellor of the Community College System.
“Manufacturing is a critical driver of economic growth and employment in our state,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “However, as businesses replace traditional manufacturing methods with advanced technology, many job-seekers have been unable to keep up because they lack the specialized skills required. By arming workers with the tools needed to excel in advanced manufacturing, this award will help New Hampshire workers secure high-paying jobs and help New Hampshire companies hire high-quality employees.”
“With manufacturing as such an important part of New Hampshire’s economy, a key part of our successful economic strategy has been training our workers in advanced skills so they can keep up with changing technology, and our businesses can continue to compete globally. This grant is exciting news for our state, our workers and our businesses. This is a tremendous amount of funding that will allow us to expand our worker training efforts, which will help more companies grow and compete,” Gov. Lynch said. “This is great news for New Hampshire’s economy.”
CCSNH’s efforts will target advanced manufacturing sub-sectors inculding automation and robotics, precision manufacturing, advanced machine tool technology, mechatronics, advanced materials technologies and composites, precision welding, automation and process control, and energy systems for precision manufacturing.
“This funding comes at a very important time, since students and the college population in New Hampshire have been disadvantaged by state budget cuts and decreased access to education and training opportunities,” said Newman. “While this grant will not replace state funds that were cut, it will make possible focused efforts in partnership with NH businesses to create educational and career ladders for advanced manufacturing jobs, a key industry here in New Hampshire and in the nation.”
“New Hampshire’s community colleges are uniquely situated to provide these opportunities and work in partnership with employers,” Newman said. “We have campuses in every region of the state. NH companies already look to the community colleges to train a local workforce in high-need skills like health care and technology. The community colleges are adept at providing access to students of all ages, backgrounds, and aspirations, and we have already developed strong partnerships that enable students to continue their education to the baccalaureate level and beyond.”
The CCSNH proposal was developed in close collaboration with over a dozen NH manufacturing companies from across the state. The industry partners provided data on current and future workforce needs, skills gaps of the current workforce and job applicant pool, industry trends, and specific equipment and types of training key to their ability to thrive and compete globally. Other partners in the application included the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the NH High Tech Council, the Advanced Manufacturing Education Advisory Council, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, the NH Department of Labor, NH Employment Security, and the NH Department of Education.
Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association of NH, said, “If we expect to retain and grow companies in New Hampshire’s leading economic sector – advanced manufacturing – we need to ensure alignment between training provided through our educational institutions and the needs of manufacturers and high technology employers. This grant represents a great opportunity to further that goal.”
George Bald, Commissioner of the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, said, “This grant will have a tremendous impact on the NH workforce, on the quality of jobs that come to the state, and on the strength of the manufacturing industry in New Hampshire. The close collaboration between the community colleges and our NH employers to identify skill areas and training needs reflects the excellent working relationship that exists in New Hampshire to strengthen our workforce.”
CCSNH applied for the grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Act-Community College Career and Training Grant program.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
A web page dedicated to helping teachers and other educational professionals facing layoffs has been launched on the state’s job training web site.
George Bald, Commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, said the new page contains valuable information and referral links to assist teachers, paraprofessionals and others who are being laid off due to reduced local school budgets.
The web page, titled “Teachers in Transition” is at www.nhworks.org. It can also be found on the web site of NH Employment Security at http://www.nh.gov/nhes/.
“Many teachers and paraprofessionals are facing uncertain times and often do not know there are other opportunities outside the teaching profession that they may be qualified to pursue,” said Bald. “Teachers in Transition helps provide information on services they may want to access, including unemployment benefits, job match and job search services and links to help them consider other career fields, such as social services, technical fields, adult literacy, counseling, training and health care.
“We want teachers, paraprofessionals and others who may face layoffs due to local budget cuts that there are opportunities in other fields, and the Teachers in Transition web page helps with the immediate tasks of filing for unemployment benefits as well as finding new career paths,” said Tara Reardon, Commissioner of NH Employment Security.
The site also contains referral links to training programs in the state, and links to the public and private post-secondary institutions in New Hampshire, according to Jackie Heuser, Director of the Office of Workforce Opportunity.
The web page was developed by the Office of Workforce Opportunity and its workforce development partner agency, NH Employment Security.
“We still urge those facing employment challenges to visit their local NH Works Career Center,” said Heuser. There are 13 local NH Works Centers located throughout New Hampshire.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
FairPoint Communications will be hosting training sessions on the economic development modeling tool it sponsors to assist economic development and planning professionals in forecasting regional growth.
The model has been used and recommended by economic development professionals throughout the state, including the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy in studies commissioned by the Business and Industry Association.
The Connect NNE Economic Scenario Model™ is a FairPoint-sponsored Microsoft Office Excel-based software tool created to provide information on existing economic conditions and estimate potential impacts of new development and job creation scenarios in New Hampshire and across northern New England. The model allows users to estimate impact on jobs, earnings, output and gross domestic product (GDP) resulting from changing a region’s economic focus.
The model was launched at a press conference held at the State of New Hampshire Legislative Office Building in Concord last November. Joining FairPoint State President Teresa Rosenberger were Commissioners George Bald of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, Tara Reardon, NH Employment Security, George Copadis, Department of Labor and Liz Gray, Governor Lynch’s Special Assistant for Policy. Training has been conducted in the following communities since the launch: Berlin, Concord, Conway, Keene, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua and Portsmouth.
“We have heard from economic development leaders that they are looking for tools to help them understand influences on the local economies,” said Teresa Rosenberger, state president for FairPoint in New Hampshire. “This software tool provides local communities with quantitative data to support economic development initiatives that will help the communities grow and prosper and, in turn, provide a benefit to all.”
FairPoint is offering hands-on training sessions led by its economic development arm, Connect NNE, at three sites across New Hampshire.
May 18th (9:00-11:30 am)
Pease Public Library Community Room, 1 Russell Street, Plymouth, N.H.
May 18th (2:30-5:00 pm)
Derry Municipal Building, 14 Manning Street, Derry, N.H.
May 19th (9:30 – 12 noon)
Dover Public Library Lecture Hall, 73 Locust Street, Dover, N.H.
Economic development professionals interested in attending one of these sessions are asked to contact Ellen Scarponi at EconomicDevelopmentNH@fairpoint.com.
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Q: I am a sole proprietor and my business has grown so much that I think I need to hire one or more employees. How do I do that and are there any resources to assist me?
NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine J. Davis
A: Congratulations on growing your business! Hiring your first employee is a big step and there are a few hoops you will need to jump through and important things to consider before you hang out the “help wanted” sign.
I did a bit of digging on the Internet and the good news is that there are a bunch of free resources available to educate you on what you need to know when hiring employees. I visited a couple of sites that were full of information about hiring as well as other business issues. The Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov, is a great tool for business owners looking for information. They listed “10 Steps to Hiring Your First Employee”:
1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you don’t have one already.
2. Set up records for withholding taxes-you can have an accountant work with you on this if desired.
3. Employee Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)-this does not need to be filed with the federal govt. but does need to be kept on file.
4. Register with the State’s New Hire Reporting Program.
5. Obtain Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
6. Unemployment Insurance Tax Registration-some exclusions may apply.
7. Obtain Disability Insurance-NOT required in New Hampshire.
8. Post required notices (finally, something easy to do!) Here is a link to the notices required by the federal and NH government: www.labor.state.nh.us/wage_hour_mandatory_posters.asp?ptype=
9. File Your Taxes-Can be done monthly or quarterly.
10. Get organized and keep yourself informed.
So those are some of the “hoops” that need to be dealt with. What about the other issues such as how do I advertise for the position, what questions do I ask during the interview, should I do a background check, do I need to offer benefits and can I hire an independent contractor instead of a regular employee? These are some pretty important questions too and are not to be taken lightly. I will touch upon these a bit, but you can get more in-depth information from the Small Business Development Center’s Web site, www.nhsbdc.org. If you are not yet familiar with the SBDC or SCORE, you should spend some time on their Web sites and take advantage of their free business counseling and low cost seminars.
Before you put out an advertisement, you should have a job description ready that clearly describes the position including: job objective, scope of position, duties, responsibilities and necessary qualifications. Be prepared to receive a number of applications that don’t fit the description, however, as there are still a lot of people looking for work. It is good to be a bit flexible but you want to be sure the candidate has the tools and education to fulfill their role. There are a number of ways to find candidates from using a temp agency, to the State’s Employment Security office, to traditional newspapers and online. The type of position will also be a factor in which avenue you choose. The job description also determines if the position should be classified as hourly (non-exempt) or salary (exempt). Many employers are under the false assumption they can make this determination because it is more cost effective for example, to pay someone a salary rather than have to pay them overtime. Actually the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act outlines which positions are eligible to receive salary/exempt status as determined by the job duties the individual will perform. Employers can receive hefty fines for misclassification.
Though not legally required, consider offering some benefits for your employee(s). Many small businesses are unable to afford health insurance but if you can offer it you will be able to attract more candidates. Other things to consider are holidays, vacation and sick time as well as whether or not you are open to (and the job is conducive to) having your employee work from home. Again, so much is industry specific so there isn’t a one size fits all answer to these questions. Some businesses hire Professional Employer Organizations or professional Human Resource firms to handle these issues for them. These groups can assist with the intricacies of HR and take responsibility off of your plate so you can focus on your business (Wouldn’t that be nice!).
Some businesses may be best served by hiring an independent contractor versus a traditional employee. A business benefits by using an independent contractor with savings in labor, reduced liability and more flexibility in hiring and firing (source: www.SBA.gov). However, there are distinct differences between the two and a misclassification could be costly. A few of the descriptive for an independent contractor are:
• Operates under a business name
• May have their own employees
• Invoices for work done and keeps records
• May have multiple clients
This is not an exhaustive list, so please do some research if you are contemplating going down this road and know that different government entities such as the IRS and the NH Department of Labor, have differing “tests” to determine whether the individual is eligible to be an independent contractor. Another good site to visit to learn more about hiring issues and concerns is www.business.gov. I have hired both employees and independent contractors in the past and always checked with a professional before offering employment.
There are lots of hoops to jump through and much to consider before you hire that first employee. I also recommend that you spend a good deal of time talking with that person and making sure they are a good fit for your organization. You can have a seemingly perfect fit on paper but a personality clash that just won’t work. Don’t forget to check references and perhaps even conduct a background check. That’s so important to the decision making process as well.
If you do your due diligence, you are quite likely to bring on a person that will help you grow your business. There aren’t any guarantees but I do believe that the better you educate and prepare yourself, the more likely you will be successful.
Special thanks to Delise West of Human Resource Partners in Dover, NH for her contributions to this article, www.h-rpartners.com.
Whether you have been in business for 20 years or just getting started, we have the resources and the expertise to answer your questions. You can e-mail me at Christine.Davis@dred.state.nh.us. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Gov. John Lynch has signed into law his new, innovative jobs initiative aimed at helping workers and companies recover from the recession.
Governor John Lynch
New Hampshire Working is a three-part initiative introduced by Gov. Lynch. It is designed to help companies and workers avoid layoffs, help unemployed workers return to work and provide training to help workers get new jobs.
“Our number one focus must continue to be helping companies and workers recover from this recession,” Gov. Lynch said. “We cannot and we will not rest until everyone who wants a job can get a job. With this legislation, we are providing businesses and citizens with new help to get back to work and to recover from the recession.”
New Hampshire Working leverages existing resources to help businesses and workers recover from the recession. The legislation implementing parts of the program received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate.
“I have met a number of people who have been out of work for several months, and in some cases a year or more. They want the opportunity to work again, to show employers they have the skills and talents needed in today’s workforce, but they just need someone to give them a chance,” Gov. Lynch said. “With New Hampshire Working, we are giving them that chance. At the same, with this legislation, we will be able to help businesses retain the workers they need to recover from the recession and ensure that our workers and companies have the skills they need to compete in the future.”
“The focus of New Hampshire Employment Security is putting New Hampshire’s citizens back to work. New Hampshire Working provides us with creative new ways to help our workforce stay at work, return to work and be ready for work,” said Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon. “We applaud our Governor and the Legislature’s hard work in support of these efforts to help both business and employees in this challenging times.”
The new law, Senate Bill 501, immediately implements two parts of New Hampshire Working; the final piece is already up and running.
Under the first part of New Hampshire Working, the state will be able to partner with businesses and workers to provide an alternative to layoffs. Companies and workers would agree to reduced hours instead of layoffs, and the state will make up part of the lost wages for workers through unemployment benefits.
Workers will keep their jobs, their health insurance and most of their income. Companies will be able to retain the skilled workers they need to recover, and taxpayers will avoid increased costs as the demand for state services increases as unemployment rises. This part of New Hampshire Working is modeled after successful job-share programs in other states.
Under the second part of New Hampshire Working, New Hampshire job agencies will develop a plan for assessing the job skills of all newly unemployed workers. Workers can take the results of those assessments to potential employers, giving business owners confidence that new hires will have the necessary skills.
The new law also doubles the state’s Job Training Fund to $2 million a year in 2011 and allows Employment Security to use those funds to train unemployed workers.
“New Hampshire Working is a way we can help companies and workers through these tough times,” Gov. Lynch said. “The funding required for these programs is money we are already spending – but with New Hampshire Working we’re spending it better, in a way that will help companies and workers, and reduce costs for taxpayers.”
The final part of New Hampshire Working did not require legislation and is already up and running. This part of the initiative reduces upfront training costs for companies – often an impediment to hiring – and is providing on-the-job training to help workers get new jobs. Unemployed workers are able to continue to receive unemployment benefits while participating in up to six weeks of training at a potential new employer. A company has until the end of that period to decide if a worker has the skills the business needs.
Senate Bill 501 was sponsored by Sens. Maggie Hassan, Matt Houde, Amanda Merrill, Betsi DeVries, Jackie Cilley, Bette Lasky, Molly Kelly, Sylvia Larsen, Martha Fuller Clark, Kathy Sgambati, Deb Reynolds, Harold Janeway, Lou D’Allesandro, Peggy Gilmour, Bob Odell; and Reps. Mary Jane Wallner, Sally Kelly, Dan Eaton, Ed Butler and Will Infantine.