ISLANDIA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With the cost of living being so high on Long Island, employers are having a hard time finding, and keeping good workers.

As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, some employers are offering their workers a unique perk.

James Metzler is proud of his accounting job with Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Long Island offices. Now, his goal is to pay off more than $30,000 in college loan debt that’s kept him from moving out on his own.

“Still living with my two parents, I call them my roommates. I’m saving up to buy a house, but it’s increasingly more difficult with student loan debt,” he said.

Metzler isn’t alone. The average student loan debt is more than $37,000. It’s why Metzler’s employers are now offering cash assistance.

“We’ll provide a $100 a month contribution to their student loan balance,” Liz Robinson explained.

The company will pay off up to $7,200 in loans.

Meanwhile, a few miles away, software giant CA-Technologies is attracting highly educated engineers, and IT specialist by offering them much lower interest rates on their loans.

“Student loan debt starts at 7 percent and higher, so this will offer them opportunities to refinance at two to three percent,” Lisa Mars explained.

Better yet, the low-interest refinancing applies to workers’ spouses and children as well.

“I’m going to have two kids in college at the same time, and any savings will help,” Michael DiPeri said.

At St. Francis Hospital in Nassau County, nurses are being offered $6,000 a year.

Facing $50,000 in student loan debt, nurse Christie Van Houten quickly signed on.

“It’s pretty significant to have to pay that back monthly while trying to have a house or to have a family,” she said.

The hospital benefits because nurses who take the money must work the sometimes difficult to staff ‘overnight shift,’ and grateful nurses are less likely to move on to other medical facilities.

Northwell Health said it will soon roll out its own student debt loan assistance program.




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