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State's stimulus-funded jobs program 'STEPS' returns

JACKSON — The jobs program Mississippi STEPS: Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, restarted yesterday and will run through Dec. 10.

Employers who want to participate in STEPS 2 must enroll by Sept. 30 in order to take advantage of the full benefits of the program.

This program, known as STEPS 2, will aid small businesses in meeting their workforce needs by providing a wage subsidy for new hires. Administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, STEPS 2 will subsidize the wages of a new employee hired by any public hospital, private non-profit or for-profit entity in the state over a four-month period.

The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment.

Employers must sign up for the program by Sept. 30.

Gov. Haley Barbour said. “We saw tremendous results with our original program, which created more than 1,800 permanent, private-sector jobs.”

The Mississippi STEPS 2 program is designed to place workers in jobs that will result in full-time employment, as well as increase the skill level of the eligible participant. The program covers an employee’s salary at 100 percent at the beginning of the program and the subsidy decreases in steps over the span of the program.

Although the program is open to any public hospital or private business, preference will be given to small businesses. Any questions regarding STEPS should be directed to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security at (888) 844-3577 or by email at stimulus@mdes.ms.gov.

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