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Kick off set for 'shot in the arm' employment incentivesTell North Platte what you think
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The “shot in the arm” employee grant program will officially kick off Thursday from the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation.

Employers are encouraged to attend from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Thursday, April 6 at the Best Western Plus conference room at 3201 S. Jeffers in North Platte.

The session is open to all Chamber members.

To reserve a spot, call the Chamber at 532-4966 or email megan@nparea.com to reserve your spot.  

The workNP.com program includes an informational session, employee recruitment services and a best practices discussion about finding and recruiting new employees. 

In addition to DevCo staff members, presentations will include those of Kelsey Miller of the Nebraska Department of Labor; and human resource specialists Jayne Johnson of Great Plains Health; Josh Hodgson of the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and Kevin Forest of Union Pacific.

The 18-month program will be administered by the Chamber and Development Corporation and make available about 70 recruitment packages worth $10,000 each.  

Each recruitment incentive package would be a match of $5,000 from the Quality Growth Fund and $5,000 from the employer. 

The incentive can be used in a number of different ways, such as for moving expenses, training, education or other compensation.

The recruited employee must sign a 3-year agreement, be a non-Lincoln County resident and agree to move to Lincoln County. 

Exceptions are Mid-Plains Community College students and graduating high school students from Lincoln County. 

The wage of the new positions must be a minimum of $20 per hour by the end of the third year of employment, Chamber and Development Executive Director Gary Person said.

The program is designed to address the difficulty employers are having in filling key positions, Person said. Lincoln County employers are having trouble finding top-notch qualified workers, a problem that is statewide.

In a 2016 analysis, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development indicated more than 40,000 job openings are currently unfilled in the state.

Person said this approach is ‘smart growth’ by targeting ‘quality job openings’ to help existing employers meet the challenges that come with recruiting the work force.

“If you were recruiting a new employer to town that was willing to create 50-75 new jobs at a wage scale of $20 an hour or greater – that would be an attention getter,” Person said. “This is just a more practical approach in working with existing employers who have an established track record of commitment and investment in our community. In our opinion, that is ‘quality growth.'"

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/3/2017
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