Last week, the House of Representatives passed Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act (H.R. 2842). H.R. 2842 connects low-income Americans looking for work with employers looking to fill job openings, including through apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training. Specifically, the legislation provides funding for states to subsidize employment for a limited time for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to provide work experience in exchange for benefits.
Each state must describe how wage subsidies will be provided and how they expect each individual to maintain employment when the subsidies end. A state shall ensure that no one is laid off from the same or a substantially similar job to create positions for such participants and states may subsidize up to 50 percent of the recipients wage, with the remainder covered by the employer.
Finally, a state has to submit a report that specifies the number of individuals whose employment is subsidized, the structure of state activities, the percentage of recipients who received a subsidy who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after the subsidies ended, and the median earning of recipients after the subsidies end.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 6 million job openings, the highest levels since the government started tracking this data in 2000.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “While the economy has improved, many Americans are still struggling to find work, and we should be doing everything we can to help these individuals get ahead. The Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act will help job seekers succeed and provide for their families in an increasingly dynamic job market.”