Expanded Alberta Jobs Now program open for applications

Funding now available for new employers, part-time workers

Expanded Alberta Jobs Now program open for applications

Starting today, employers in Alberta can apply for the second intake period of the Alberta Jobs Now program, which has been modified to cater to more employers.

Funding is now open to new businesses and organizations, including those operating for less than a year, and to those hiring workers into part-time positions.

Also, employers are no longer required to hire unemployed locals. This will make it easier for them to hire the most qualified candidates for available positions, according to the government.

Employers can now also apply for funding to help fill 10 positions that must be filled within 90 days after approval of their application to the program.

Through the program, employers can apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period, up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. Also, employers that hire people with disabilities will receive a grant 1.5 times higher than the amount they receive for other new employees.

The grant can be used to cover salary or training costs.

The program is a “game changer,” says Lindsay Smylie, business development manager for strategic projects at Calgary Economic Development, on LinkedIn, who also predicts “a flurry of job postings to follow”.

“With only 43 per cent of Alberta small businesses at normal staffing levels, more support is needed to help with hiring and economic recovery,” says Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “These changes to the Jobs Now program reflect the challenges small businesses are facing and will allow more small businesses to use the program as they begin to return to normal staffing levels.”

Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it is investing $4.3 billion to create a new cloud computing operation in Calgary, creating close to 1,000 jobs.

The government is investing up to $370 million over two years through the program to help private sector businesses and non-profit organizations hire and train unemployed Albertans.

Half of the funding is available through federal transfers through the Workforce Development Agreement and the other $185 million is through provincial funds.

Recently, Ontario announced it is making several investments around skilled trades, job training and auto manufacturing, along with hoping to combat labour trafficking

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