Recently, the Governor of Massachusetts announced a new employer grant program to boost hiring. Called “HireNow”, 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.
By providing employers with these flexible funds to facilitate quick hiring, the Administration is focusing on addressing continued hiring challenges faced by employers and increasing labor force participation. Employers can learn more about the program and apply at mass.gov/HireNow. The program is open to all Massachusetts employers, including both for-profit and non-profit entities (excluding federal, state, and municipal governments).
HireNow aims to address hiring challenges faced by employers that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are over 85,000 workers not participating in the labor market compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, employers’ need for workers has continued to increase, with unfilled job postings up 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels and approximately 200,000 open jobs available across the Commonwealth.
- Employer Eligibility: Any Massachusetts employer who is in good standing with the Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Revenue (DOR) obligations and is not de-barred by the state is eligible (excluding federal, state and municipal governments). Applications must be submitted by the employer, not an education or training partner
- Application Process: Employers must pre-register online at Mass.Gov/HireNow by providing employer information. Following the employee’s hire and 60-day retention period, employers will submit a final application for funding. The Commonwealth will also approve the planned use of the funds (training costs, signing bonus, etc.) when approving the application
- Eligible Hires: Hires must be made 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. New hires need to be Massachusetts residents employed in Massachusetts. There are also limits on compensation:
- Minimum eligible compensation: $14.25/hour (minimum wage)
- Maximum eligible compensation: $42.50/hour (~$85K annualized)
- 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
For more information on this program, click here.