Legislation sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to utilize existing state workforce development resources to educate and train laid-off casino workers for new careers was adopted by the New Jersey Senate. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
“Today my colleagues in the Senate and I embraced a golden opportunity to revitalize Atlantic City’s economy by empowering thousands of former casino workers to pursue new and exciting job opportunities,” Senator Allen said. “This program will help those who are still struggling to find work develop and expand the diverse set of skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive job market. By passing this legislation, we are helping countless individuals forge a new pathway to a successful and fulfilling career.”
Senator Allen’s bill (S-2840) would support training and educational instruction for former casino employees, including those who were laid off during the casino closings that eliminated more than 8,000 Atlantic City jobs. The program would be funded through a dedication of a percentage of the existing workforce development partnership fund reserved for displaced workers.
Under S-2840, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development would develop and facilitate plans to screen and train former casino workers for new careers. These individuals will have the opportunity to enroll in training and educational instruction at a county college, an approved training provider or a county vocational school district.
The bill also limits the financial burden of choosing to pursue a new career path, as the cost of tuition for classes or training; books; lab fees; and transportation are all eligible to be covered under the program.
S-2840 is part of Senate Republican’s 36-bill package to jumpstart job creation and economic growth without costing taxpayers extra money. So far, 16 of the bills have garnered Senate Democrat sponsorship; 12 have garnered Assembly Democrat sponsorship; the Senate has advanced or fully passed 12 of them and the Assembly has advanced or passed a number of them as well. The governor recently signed into law an innovation bill to help start and grow small businesses by allowing private online investments.
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