JACKSON, Miss.—Gov. Haley Barbour wants to use federal stimulus money to help subsidize about 4,800 private-sector jobs in Mississippi, as long as they are not in adult entertainment or other “controversial” positions such as bartending.
Barbour made his remarks Tuesday to about 200 people at a business forum in Jackson, according to the Associated Press. He said the state is seeking final federal approval for a plan called Mississippi STEPS: Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, which he wants to have up and running by October.
The program, which was designed to help create jobs for people from lower-income families, would be used to pay for all or part of an employee's salary for the first six months, according to Stan McMorris, deputy director of the state Department of Employment Security, but some restrictions apply.
McMorris said that companies could not use the subsidy to fill a job after laying off another worker, and that subsidized jobs could not be in adult entertainment or for potentially "controversial" positions such as bartending.
According to the AP, federal money would pay 100 percent of an individual’s salary for the first two months, and then drop to 75 percent in the third month, 50 percent in the fourth and fifth months and 25 percent in the sixth month. The employer's share of the salary would increase as the federal subsidy decreases.
The intent is to use $43 million of federal stimulus money on the program, which would run through September 2011, said the governor’s staff.