Harrisburg, PA – To help entice Pennsylvania employers to create more jobs, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) has endorsed a proposal to establish the Keystone Works program, which specifically targets individuals who are not currently in the workforce.
“Government doesn’t create jobs, but we can adopt policies and establish programs to help improve the job climate,” said Brown. “The Keystone Works program, which is similar to employment programs in other states, focuses on those workers with specific skill sets who have been laid off and/or who are actively searching for that next job.”
House Bill 1539 would pair interested unemployed individuals with specific skills up with interested businesses that are seeking to hire for open positions that need those skills. The employee can then work for the business for 24 hours per week for eight weeks at no cost to the employer. As part of the agreement, the employer is required to provide training to the employee, and unemployment benefit checks serve as the workers’ salaries.
At the end of the eight weeks, the business must consider the worker for permanent employment, but is not required to hire him or her. Likewise, the worker may refuse the job offer. The state will disqualify businesses that show a pattern of acting in bad faith regarding job offers.
When not working, unemployment recipients are expected to search for other jobs.
This legislation is modeled on the highly successful Georgia Works program, which has helped more than 3,000 state residents there find permanent work.
The legislation now moves to the state Senate for consideration.