House Passes Rep. Chu's Extension of Job Creation Program
Washington, D.C. - Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4849, the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act that included extension of vital job creation program in Los Angeles County informally referred to as Jobs NOW.
At a press conference today Congresswoman Judy Chu issued the following statement:
"Good afternoon! Today is a great day for Americans around the country – but an especially great day for Californians! Passage of H.R. 4849 means that Californians in 50 counties will see a very effective job creation program extended—the Jobs NOW program.
"This extension did not come easy. The California Democratic Delegation has been working very hard the past few months with Speaker Pelosi; Chairman Larson; the co-chairs of the Congressional Jobs Working Group, Betty Sutton and Alcee Hastings; and last, but not least Chairman Levin of the Ways and Means Committee and Chairman McDermott. And today, we can say the House of Representatives has passed legislation that is proven to create thousands of jobs in California and across the nation.
"Jobs NOW is helping thousands of jobless workers put food on the table during one of the toughest recessions in a generation. It has created over 156,000 jobs and counting in 29 states across the country.
"The model is Los Angeles County, where over 11,000 subsidized jobs were created in 1 year—jobs like park rangers, receptionists, teacher's assistants, and childcare workers. Workers got paid $10 an hour for up to 40 hours a week. The employer provided 20 percent of the wage cost and the Federal Government provided the rest.
"The reason it succeeded is that it was a win/win for both small business and workers. Main Street businesses like Armstrong Pies in Linden, Tennessee, used this program to add 10 employees, buy new equipment, increase production, and expand their distribution. That's a big step forward with a little bakery.
"Workers win by getting hands-on experience where they can earn wages and sleep better at night knowing they can support their families. One of these workers is Mrs. Avila from Los Angeles. Mrs. Avila said in an email, "It has been a little over 3 months since I began this job, and I have to say it has changed my life so much in this little time… I have been able to get off of cash aid and…[have] the chance to prove myself to an employer without them being judgmental.
"She also says, "I also think it's very important for my children to see me actively working [and] show my children that having a good work ethic is key in life. I just can't be thankful enough for this opportunity and hope that we can get it extended for one more year.
"And today we did just that.
"I hope my Senate colleagues will quickly take up this very important piece of job creation legislation on behalf of Mrs. Avila and the over 156,000 participants of Jobs NOW programs across the country."
Jobs NOW was created through an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The ECF was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Participants of Jobs NOW programs are be placed into subsidized jobs in all sectors of the economy from non-profits to private sector to government agencies and are matched with jobs that complement their employment goals. The employer must provide supervision equal to 20% of the wage cost and ensure that this job does not displace an existing employee or replace somebody who was to be promoted. At least eighty percent of payroll costs are paid through ARRA funds.