Sonney Backs Jobs Bill
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Harborcreek) is co-sponsoring legislation which would create the Keystone Works Program, an initiative that would match unemployed individuals with interested businesses seeking to hire for open positions.

“While the economy appears to slowly be moving in a positive direction, we will never truly recover unless our unemployment numbers improve,” Sonney said. “House Bill 1539 addresses the ‘jobless recovery’ by pairing workers who have specific skills with businesses looking to fill high priority positions.”

House Bill 1539, which was unanimously passed Monday by the House Labor and Industry Committee, would establish the Keystone Works Program, to be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Claimants may voluntarily enroll in the program after meeting certain criteria, including their being an appropriate match with the job opening at a participating business.

“Those businesses must provide the claimant with a maximum of 24 hours of unpaid training weekly, for no more than eight weeks,” added Sonney. “At the end of the training period, the business must consider the claimant for employment in the job opening, but is not required to hire the claimant.”

Workers who participate in the program would continue to receive unemployment benefits, with the expectation of being hired by the business upon conclusion of training. As an incentive for participating, businesses would receive $375 a month for up to four months after hiring the worker.

“The easiest way to tackle our insolvent unemployment compensation system is to put people back to work,” said Sonney. “I support this program because it meets the needs of businesses lacking skilled workers and workers with a specific skill set.”

State Representative Curt Sonney
4th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
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