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The Linn County Board of Commissioners will again sponsor its summer Small Business First-Time Employment Youth Wage Grant Program.

The program will assist small businesses — 35 employees or fewer — in hiring first-time employment youth, who has not previously worked for the employer.

The commissioners understand that the current Oregon minimum wage makes it difficult for Linn County small businesses to employ entry-level youth who are then unable to gain valuable work experience.

The county will reimburse small businesses $2 per hour for hours worked from May 1 through Sept. 28.

An employer can only hire three qualifying youth at any given time. Maximum reimbursement per employer is $3,000 with a maximum of $1,000 per new hire youth.

Each young person has to be legal to work in the U.S., a Linn County resident and at least 14 years of age but not older than 19.

Youth 14 through 17 must be hired with a Bureau of Labor & Industries permit. The employer has to certify they are in compliance with all federal and state youth labor laws (State Board of Labor & Industry rules and regulations).

An employer may file an application with the Linn County Board of Commissioners, 300 Fourth Ave SW (P.O. Box 100), Albany, OR 97321, from May 1 through September 7. The application must identify the first-time employment youth by date hired, name, age, home address, phone number and have a properly completed Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for each youth showing he or she is legal to work in the United States.

All participating employers will have until Nov. 9, to submit a request for reimbursement of payroll costs. Documentation must include payroll stubs indicating the participating youth by name, home address, number of hours worked and pay per hour.

All reimbursement requests that include youth 14 through 17 must include a copy of the employer’s Bureau of Labor & Industries permit. Reimbursement requests must cover a pay period of at least 30 days or for the entire program period or may be made at the time a youth is terminated. Payment will occur within 30 days of receipt of the request for reimbursement.

For further information contact the Linn County Board of Commissioners’ Office, Linn County Courthouse, P.O. Box 100, Albany, OR 97321 or call 541-967-3825.

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