Businesses and employees ask for extension

    They want “Way to Work” extended beyond its September 30th expiration. The program uses stimulus dollars to pay wages. Employers pay the taxes.

    State officials say up to 12,000 Pennsylvanians could lose their stimulus funded jobs at the end of the month. A federal program aimed at putting low-income unemployed residents back to work is slated to expire.

    “Way to Work” provides federal dollars to employers to pay workers’ wages. Employers pay the payroll taxes. The program’s goal is to have the company keep workers on after the program expires September 30th.

    But a group of employers rallied Thursday in North Philadelphia to extend the benefits.

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    Angela Vendetti owns Mugshots coffee shop. She hired two people through the program and says she plans to keep them. Vendetti says the subsidy has helped her with cash flow, and gave her access to job seekers who are looking for long-term employment.

    “And so I’m really excited to offer a job to somebody where this is potential long-term employment and they can grow with us, we are growing and I can reduce our turnover.”

    Pennsylvania received about $97 million dollars through the program. State officials worry that without an extension of the benefits, some of those hired will lose their jobs.

    Sandy Vito, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry, says she would like to see it last another year.

    “The program sunsets September 30th, that’s why we want to see it extended for at least another year. We want those folks to continue to work and the employers, employers have said they want to keep the folks on but they need a little more time so they can keep them on on their own.”

    Vito says Pennsylvania received about $97 million through the program. The House of Representatives has voted to extend the benefits. But the Senate has yet to act.

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