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PORTLAND, Maine – Maine officials want people off unemployment and back at work, so the state is rolling out a new program for workers and employers to get open jobs filled.

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The Back to Work program was announced Monday by Gov. Janet Mills, WCSH reported.

About 11,200 jobs have been filled during the first quarter of the year and businesses continue to see a shortage of workers. Some have started offering signing bonuses, 401(k) plans, paid time off and health benefits to help fill the available positions, WCSH reported.

The Back to Work program is giving a one-time $1,500 payment to people who start jobs between June 15 and June 30. If they get a job in July, the money is decreased to $1,000, WMTW reported.

The Maine Department of Labor said up to 7,500 people could benefit from the cash coming from federal funding.

The payments will be made on a first-come, first-served system, WCSH reported.

To be eligible workers had to have unemployment benefits for the week ending May 29. They also have to get a full-time job that pays less than $25 and be in that job, not receiving unemployment benefits for at least eight weeks.

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Once the worker hits that eight-week mark, the employer will produce documentation of the work history. The state will give the employer the money who will then give it to the employee, WMTW reported.

Applications will be accepted through July 25.

Maine isn’t the only state looking to pay people a bonus for working.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is also proposing to use federal funding to give a bonus to get people back to work.

Under Whitmer’s plan, some employees who were laid off during the coronavirus pandemic could get a $300 a week bonus if their employer participates in a state work-share program through Sept. 4, WXYZ reported.