TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach that would provide certain employers with greater access to workforce development funds was signed into law on Friday.
Currently, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides funding for employer training programs that create, upgrade or retain jobs in a labor demand occupation.
This law (S-2008) also requires the Department to prioritize employers in the state who are engaged in procurement contracts with the military, are engaged in a STEM field, or are providing training to veterans in order to retain these valuable employers in New Jersey.
“Veterans often struggle to find jobs after they return from service for a number of reasons,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington, Camden). “These targeted training grants will assist New Jersey employers who are engaged in improving the employability of veterans and developing a workforce that is aligned with the today’s economic demands.”
Specifically, under the law, priority for training dollars will be given to employers who:
1) Provide equipment, supplies, or services to military bases and installations pursuant to a procurement or military contract with the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or any branch of the United States Armed Forces;
2) Are engaged in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields; or
3) Intend to train veterans.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans in New Jersey in 2015 was 5.4 percent; the national average was 4.4 percent.
The law takes effect immediately.