NEON Mission Statement
The National Employment Opportunity Network (NEON) is the leading national voice on hiring tax incentives. It has played a central role in the development of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, every modification and extension of the program, as well as working closely with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that the program and any modifications to it are implemented in an employer friendly manner. NEON is comprised of management assistant companies that encourage employers to hire individuals who are on public assistance programs such as welfare, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, and Vocational Rehabilitation, or who face high unemployment because of their status as veterans, ex-felons, or residents of Empowerment Zones. NEON members work to make employers aware of the WOTC program which provides a tax incentive to employers for hiring individuals who qualify, but often have little, if any, work history and/or job skills.
NEON developed the legislative concept that is WOTC in 1995 and took the lead in organizing a broad based coalition of employers and national groups in a successful effort to get the program enacted in 1996. Since then, NEON has led every program renewal effort as well as every legislative initiative to modernize and make WOTC more responsive to the unemployment challenges facing the nation over the decade and a half since the program’s enactment. NEON secured the prime legislative sponsors for WOTC’s original enactment – Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) in the House of Representatives and Max Baucus (D-MT) and John Chafee (R-RI) in the Senate. NEON worked closely with them to develop the legislative language adopted. NEON continues to provide the primary leadership on reauthorization and modernization of WOTC and serves as the “institutional memory” for Washington decision makers seeking to utilize hiring tax incentives to reduce structural unemployment.
NEON members work with employers to inform them of the higher retention rates for entry level workers hired through WOTC and help employers to understand that the hiring tax incentive provide them with the financial resources needed to ensure that those hired through WOTC are successfully integrated into their workforce.
NEON members help employers to establish internal systems that ensure that every entry level job applicant completes the IRS pre-screening form as part of their job application in a timely manner, helps employers file the certification request with the State Work Force Agency (SWA), and keep track of certification responses from the SWA.
NEON members also work closely with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor to not only ensure that legislative changes to WOTC are implemented in a practical manner that employers can understand and utilize; NEON also works with IRS and DOL on ways to make the program more efficient and has been successful in encouraging those agencies to address administrative issues that have arisen since the enactment of WOTC in 1996.