Carrier’s returned incentives to help employ laid-off workers

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett speaks at the podium about help coming for laid-off employees at Carrier Corp. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Carrier workers losing their jobs could soon be getting money from the city.

It is setting aside funds not just for the laid-off workers, but for companies who will hire them. Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city will fund the plan using the $1.2 million in tax incentives Carrier returned to the city.

He announced the plan Wednesday, less than a week after 338 Carrier workers clocked out for the last time. About 290 more will lose their jobs three days before Christmas.

“I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all of this go away, but I cannot,” Hogsett said.

Hogsett said his team’s come up with a two part plan.

Part one: give the laid off workers up to $1000 dollars each.

Workers can use the money to fill up the gas tank, pay for the babysitter and other needs–as long as they’re actively looking for a job.

But is it enough to get a family back on their feet?

“It might not be enough. But it will be something that will be able to help,” United Steelworkers 1999 President Robert James said.

United Steelworkers 1999 is the local union that represents Carrier workers.

“They’re going to need all the help they can possibly get,” James said. “Going out back into the workforce is not easy for anybody.”

Part two of the plan is to pay local companies to hire the laid off Carrier workers.

Hogsett said the city can pay a company $1000 per worker. Companies will have to keep the worker at least a year and pay at least $16 dollars an hour.

“While today’s announcement does not erase the wounds left by Carrier’s decision, this signals a significant step in the healing process,” Hogsett said.

The plan will need a city county council vote to become a reality.

Hogsett said he expects the funds to be available Oct. 1.

Employees can apply for the funds today by visiting the WorkOne West location at 3400 Lafayette Road.

Local businesses interested in the incentive program can email carrier@indy.gov, or contact the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development at 317-327-5355 or Develop Indy at 317-464-2218.

Eligible workers would meet with a counselor who would review bills and receipts from after the worker’s last day with Carrier. The workers would be reimbursed up to $1000 dollars.

The CEO of EmployIndy said she’s already heard of companies who are interested in the plan. She declined to say which companies or what kind of jobs they offer.

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