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October 06, 2009

Stimulus grant to help local employers hire college students

Gavilan College, CA - Thanks to a federal stimulus grant of $2.2 million, local employers can be reimbursed for up to 75% of a new employee's salary when they hire a Gavilan College student in the CalWORKS "welfare-to-work" program. This expansion of the "75-25" program will provide local jobs for up to 200 additional students between now and September 30, 2010. The opportunity is especially welcome at a time when the economy has made it difficult for employers to take on new employees, making it more difficult for the many families and individuals receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to find jobs and become independent.

"This is a win-win situation" said Susan Sweeney, director of the CalWORKS program at Gavilan College."The students get needed income, and work experience in their field of study, and the employers get reimbursed for 75% of employment costs. There are some amazing people in this program who need an opportunity to get back on their feet."

CalWORKS screens the students ahead of time, and sends the employer several appropriate candidates to interview. Some local employers are already participating, including Rebekah's Children's Services in Gilroy and Greenwood Chevrolet in Hollister. Twenty-six students are currently working in "75-25" through state funding, which can be applied in either San Benito or Santa Clara Counties. The new stimulus funds must be used in Santa Clara County, one of only three counties in the state to be granted the additional funds.

To participate, employers must agree to provide a monthly evaluation of each student-employee, and should expect to provide some on-the-job training. The pay rate is set at a standard $10 per hour, with a schedule of up to 20 hours per week during academic semesters, and 32/35 hours per week during college breaks. Employers pay the trainees directly and are then reimbursed each month for 75% of salary costs. The CalWORKS office will work with employers to ensure satisfactory job performance. CalWORKS students must adhere to the employers' work schedule and meet academic, performance, and conduct standards to remain in the program.

Employers who would like more information about the program can contact Annette Gutierrez at (408) 848-4798 or at


Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800