US Dept. of Labor awards $100K to One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico Inc.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $100,000 to One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico Inc. to expand its fidelity bonding program, which supports employers that hire workers considered “at-risk” due to prior involvement in the criminal justice system, as well as those in recovery for substance abuse.
These workers often face barriers in their attempts to return to the workforce.
The agency’s Fidelity Bonding Demonstration Grants period of performance is from April 7, 2021 to April 6, 2025.
The bulk of Puerto Rico’s award, $85,000, is for the purchase of bonds for people with criminal records and including those with opioid or other addictions. The remaining $15,000 goes towards the administration, employer outreach, education and promotion of the Federal Bonding Program in Puerto Rico, the federal agency confirmed,
Created by the US Department of Labor in 1966 and administered by its Employment and Training Administration, the Federal Bonding Program allows states to issue free-of-charge fidelity bonds to employers.
The program provides employers with a bond of no less than $5,000 for each eligible new hire, and allows issuance of up to $25,000 in bonds for each individual, as incentives for employers to hire these applicants. Bonds last for at least six months and protect employers against losses the bonded employee’s fraudulent or dishonest acts might cause.
“Ideally, an employer will never need to exercise a fidelity bond. Since its start in 1966, employers have exercised less than 1% of bonds in the Federal Bonding Program and, in the last year, not one employer has used these bonds to cover losses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Suzi LeVine.
A total of $725,000 in grants were granted to entities in seven states and territories and the District of Columbia.