BEAR Meeting Focuses on the Department of Workforce Services


Nicole Steele, Castle Country Area Service Manager of the Department of Workforce Services (DWS), led the conversation during the May Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) meeting that was hosted on Thursday morning.

Steele has been employed at the DWS for about 27 years and she stated that the bottom line is that they are here to help employers, job seekers, and those that are wanting to become self-sufficient. Steele stated that the DWS is a huge department, likening it to an umbrella with many spokes that are the different means of assistance available.

In an overview of services to employers, it was stated that the DWS is committed to helping Utah businesses by offering a wide range of tools and resources that will assist with business needs. Business solutions include the extensive website, workforce development specialists that are equipped to provide information and facilities such as the local employment centers.

DWS also offers on-the-job training programs, employment internship opportunities and more. One area that Steele focused on was the Federal Bonding Program, which is a free service provided to businesses that are willing to hire applicants who are not commercially bondable. Employers are able to hire without the risk of losing money or property.

Coverage through this program includes theft, forgery, larceny or embezzlement and is effective the day that a few employee begins work. The bond has no deductible and reimburses the employer for any loss that is due to employee theft within a specified six-month period.

Steele then spoke on the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which is a federal tax credit incentive that congress provides employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups that have consistently faced significant barriers in regard to employment. This program is for new hires that meet target group criteria and began work after Dec. 31 of 2020 and before Dec. 31, 2025.

Steele then took attendees through a tour of the DWS website before opening the floor for conversation prior to concluding the meeting. Those that are interested in learning more about the DWS and the services available can visit the center at 475 W Price River Drive or by calling (866) 435-7414.

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