State program reaches record numbers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State program reaches record numbers

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-A state program that helps workers with reduced hours save their jobs turned out to be very popular this year. More than 32,000 Washington jobs were saved in 2010 because of the Shared-Work Program; that's 10,000 more than the year before.

One local business manager says the program gave him the opportunity to keep qualified employees until he could hire them full-time again. "Work had been getting slow but we didn't want to get new employees because it costs a lot of money to train employees," says Ken Day, Dayco Heating & Air Manager.

15 employees worked part-time then used unemployment benefits to compensate for lost income. Workers were able to keep their job and pay their bills. Plus, it saved Dayco $15,000 to $20,000 in training fees by keeping old employees.

The Share-Work Program results show 3,7000 businesses and 51,000 employees were approved to use their services in 2010. That number is up from 2,700 businesses in 2009. 98% of participating employers say they would recommend the program to other businesses, and Day says he would use it again.