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Greenstein, Beach Bill to Establish Program Connecting People with Disabilities to Job Training and Employment Advances

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TRENTON – The Senate Labor Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and James Beach that would direct the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to establish a program that would connect persons with disabilities with organizations that provide job training for the disabled community and with employers.

“Employment for people with disabilities provides a much needed source of income and independence, but barriers such as discrimination, a lack of awareness with regard to potential opportunities, and lack of outreach often prevent people with disabilities from finding employment,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This bill would establish a program aimed at solving those issues, with an online hub for resources that can connect people with the right organization for training or employment.”

The bill, S-1019, would further require that the program be maintained in collaboration with qualified organizations that have at least five years of experience working with people with disabilities. The department would additionally be directed to establish an online resource hub to provide training and employment related information, a list of qualified organizations that can assist people with disabilities, and a database for employers to post job openings.

“While there are significant labor protections for individuals with disabilities, obstacles to finding employment and job training still exist,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “A central online hub, where the Department of Labor, nonprofit organizations, and employers can cooperatively communicate opportunities and coordinate training, will counteract those barriers and empower people with disabilities to provide for themselves with dignity.”

The bill was advanced in a unanimous vote.