During a regular meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Thursday night, a resolution was passed authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Louisiana Workforce Commission for an “On the Job Training Program.”
“This is a program offered by the unemployment office,” said City Clerk Sandra Goleman. “If the unemployment office has someone who is looking for a job, who meets the qualifications for a city job, we can hire them and the unemployment office reimburses us for their pay.”
Goleman said this is the first time the city has participated in the program.
“We were recently made aware that they offered this so we thought it would be a good idea,” she said. “It allows us to give someone the on-the-job training that they need while giving them employment at the same time.”
The current unemployment rate in Bastrop is 12.80 percent, while at 8.60 percent in the United States, according to Economy in Bastrop, Louisiana.
Goleman said the purpose of this LWC program is to give someone on-the-job training.
“This is for someone who maybe has an education, but doesn’t have training and hasn’t been given a chance anywhere,” she said. “Of course if they couldn’t do the job we would have to let them go.”
Goleman said the program will help people get experience in work all the way from lawn care maintenance to clerical work. She said once they are trained, hopefully it will turn into full-time employment with the city.
“I’m not sure how long the program lasts that we would be reimbursed for paying them, but of course after they go through all the training it would be wonderful to be able to keep them on,” she said. “We have really good benefits here such as health insurance, sick leave, vacation and retirement.”
Goleman said the jobs that are exempt from the program are with the police and fire departments.
“They would have to go through civil service for those positions,” she said. “We do currently have positions open in those departments.”
After the aldermen voted yes for the resolution to authorize the mayor to enter this LWC contract, Goleman said the city’s attorney, Doug Lawrence, will go over the contract and advise the mayor on signing it.
“Sometimes changes have to be made on contracts before the mayor or myself can sign them,” she said. “Normally with the state though, they’re use to dealing with municipalities and very little changes have to be made.”