Lynch signs bill restoring job-training funds

Gov. John Lynch, making good on his pledge to revive the state’s Job Training Fund, yesterday signed into a law a bill that restores its funding.

Senate Bill 97 dedicates up to $1 million a year from the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund toward job training. It does not require any general fund dollars, nor does it affect the fund that pays for unemployment benefits for workers. Companies are required to provide an equal match for any grant they receive.

The state first set up the fund in 2001. In 19 months, 169 grants were awarded to more than 100 different companies and nearly 5,400 workers were trained.

The Business and Industry Association, several labor unions, the Departments of Resources and Economic Development, Labor and Employment Security, the New Hampshire Community Technical College System and the Workforce Opportunity Council, all support restoring the fund.

“New Hampshire’s economy is strong now, but I want to ensure we are taking the necessary steps to secure our prosperity for the future – and that means making sure New Hampshire has the skilled and educated workforce it needs to compete,” Lynch said at the signing. “This new law will help ensure our workers have the training they need to get good jobs. It will help ensure our companies have the skilled workers they need to compete. And it will help keep our unemployment rate low. It is an investment that makes sense for our workers, our companies and our state’s economic future.” – JEFF FEINGOLD

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