Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
New Hampshire is offering a unique opportunity for unemployed claimants and employers to give each other a test-run before committing to a full-time job. As part of Gov. John Lynch’s three-part program to help workers attain and keep jobs, the Return to Work program gives unemployed workers on-the-job training at a company looking to hire – at no cost to the employer. The employer does not pay the worker during the training; instead, the worker will continue collecting unemployment benefits. This arrangement gives the unemployed worker beneficial training as well as an opportunity to show the employer how they would work as a part of the company. Participants are encouraged to end training with companies that aren’t compatible in order to preserve the remainder of their eligible training time – six weeks per benefit year – for other opportunities. Although the program does not guarantee the trainee a job, the Union Leader reports that since the program’s launch in April 2010, 19 people have found full-time positions