Posted on Mar 28, 2020 in News

Gov. Ige and DLIR Director Scott Murakami announced the launching of the Reducing Unemployment Disruption & Driving Economic Regeneration (RUDDER) program. RUDDER is the DLIR’s economic regeneration initiative that provides State Employment & Training Funds that immediately infuses money into the economy and serve as the foundational strategy for aligning federal workforce programs, such as the Disaster Recovery grants, in a unified effort to efficiently train and transfer labor into Hawaiʻi’s businesses that can help reduce job losses and dampen the economic slide due to COVID-19.

“The primary objective of RUDDER is to facilitate an efficient labor exchange between the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19 and healthcare sector employers hiring employees to combat COVID-19,” said DLIR Director Scott Murakami. “We know that jobs involving cleaning, such as hotel housekeepers, could move into jobs in the healthcare with minimal training and the RUDDER program will facilitate that exchange.”

The program provides up to $100,000 of relief to registered and compliant Hawai‘i businesses for new employees hired after March 1, 2020. The program provides an initial $500 payment for each new employee to offset training and associated costs upon notification to the department of the initial hiring of the employee. After six months of continuous employment and upon receipt of certification from the employer that they have retained the employee, the DLIR will issue a second payment of $500.

Gov. Ige added, “I realize that in our community there is a lot of fear and anxiety over the COVID-19 crisis. And there are a lot of different ideas being offered to deal with the challenge. The steps we have taken so far have worked to protect the health and safety of our community. I am confident that the next steps that we are announcing soon will be effective, well-designed, and enhance our ability to deal with this threat as well as the economic impact it is.”

For more information, please email [email protected] or call (808) 586-8877.