The Commonwealth is providing eligible Massachusetts employers with funding to hire and train new workers. The HireNow program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and was created in response to the hiring challenges experienced by Massachusetts employers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Massachusetts employers can receive up to $400,000 for 100 eligible newly hired employees, with grant funds being awarded at a flat rate of $4,000 per eligible hire. Employers may use the funds in a flexible way to increase on-the-job training.
- Must be a for-profit or non-profit Massachusetts employer who is in good standing with the Commonwealth.
- Must be up-to-date on all observations to the Massachusetts department of unemployment assistance and Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MADOR).
- Must have a physical location in Massachusetts (but is not required to be headquartered in Massachusetts). It is important to note that if the employer’s home office is the official operation location of a business, it is eligible; however, employee’s homes are not considered Massachusetts work locations, even under remote work scenarios.
- Employers that have been debarred from doing business with the Commonwealth or Federal government are not eligible.
- Local, State and Federal government employers are not eligible.
Eligible New Hires
- Must be scheduled to work a minimum of 30 hours weekly on an on-going basis.
- Must earn between the following minimum and maximum wage guidelines:
- Minimum wages: $14.25/hour for non-exempt (i.e., hourly) employees; $6.15/hour for tipped employees; or $21,375 annually for exempt (i.e., salaried) employees.
- Maximum Wages: $42.50/hour for non-exempt (i.e., hourly) employees; or $85,000 for exempt (i.e., salaried) employees.
- Must be payroll employees (i.e., W2 employees). Temps and contractors are not eligible.
- Must be Massachusetts residents working in Massachusetts.
- Must be hired between March 23, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and retained for a minimum of 60 days.
To apply for HireNow funds, employers must complete the following process:
- Create a HireNow account online as soon as possible.
- Complete a one-time Employer Registration in the Employer Portal, which includes uploading a Certificate of Good Standing from the MADOR issued within the last 6 months. The Employer Registration must be completed by the time your first eligible new hire has been on the job for 60 days.
- Complete the Newly Hired Employees Registration in the Employer Portal. This must be completed for each eligible newly hired employee by the time that employee has been on the job for 60 days.
- 60 days after a registered employee’s first day of employment, you will be prompted to confirm the employee’s retainment. Doing so will trigger grant approval and the payment process. This must be completed no later than 120 days after the employee’s first day on the job.
Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis through December 31, 2022, or until funds are exhausted.
To learn more about the HireNow program, visit the program website. If you have questions, please leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me directly. I’m happy to help!