Greensboro Reporter

Greensboro Reporter

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Federal programs open doors for hard-to-place workers in N.C.


By Charmaine Little | Feb 10, 2020


Two federal programs created more jobs in North Carolina last year, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce (DOC).

The DOC’s Workforce Solutions team boosted the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) certifications by nearly 80,000, the department reported. The program provides a federal tax credit for companies who bring on qualified individuals who are part of an eligible target group, which is overseen by the Division of Workforce and decided by the WOTC.

At the same time, the Federal Bonding program brought in twice as many bonds in 2019 as the previous year. That program offers individual fidelity bonds to employers for hiring workers who cannot find significant employment that easily. Workers who qualify for the bond program include those who have been on house arrest, have had substance-abuse issues in the past or do not have a consistent work history. 

The success of both programs subsequently enabled businesses to bring on employees who typically have work restrictions.

“During a period of low unemployment, it’s particularly important that we bring more North Carolinians into the workforce who have faced challenges,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland, according to the DOC. “This year, we will be encouraging even more employers to use Federal Bonding and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to support hiring these jobseekers, contributing to the success of their businesses and that of their communities.”

Last year alone, Workforce Solutions green-lighted certifications to 2,731 employers in the state and 79,443 for employees, which is nearly a 5-percent boost compared to 2018. The certification allows employers to see if they qualify for a tax credit under the Internal Revenue Service. A company would be able to claim anywhere from $1,200 to $9.600 per eligible employee based on the target group for the employee, how much they made in their first year and how many hours they worked. Groups that apply for this include veterans, felons, those with disabilities and people who have been unemployed for a long period of time.

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