N.J. announces $14M in grants for 3 workforce programs

Will offer temp jobs to long-term unemployed, on-the-job training and employment training services

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that an additional $14 million in CARES Act funding will go to create workforce development programs designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 replenish their workforce and help jobless residents learn new skills that lead to successful reemployment.

The $14 million in grants will be divided into three plans intended to bolster workers’ skills and get them back on the job, the administration said.

Here are the programs, which will be implemented by the state’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development:

  • Relief employment ($4 million grant): This funding will provide dislocated workers and the long-term unemployed the opportunity to perform temporary jobs related to the state’s recovery from the pandemic. The first sector targeted for these jobs will be long-term care.
  • Customized and on-the-job training ($3 million grant): This funding will cover up to 50% of training costs of a new employee if an employer commits to hiring that employee upon completion of the training. Essential and struggling industries such as retail, grocery, hospitality, tourism, health care, transportation and logistics will be targeted.
  • Employment and training services ($7 million grant): This funding will expand career support services supported by the workforce investment boards throughout the state. The services include outreach, intake, assessment screening, resume critiques, virtual job referrals and referrals for short-term training, which can be provided remotely.

“As this pandemic continues to threaten our public health, we must work to ensure that a stronger, fairer and more resilient New Jersey emerges on the other side of COVID-19,” Murphy said. “With today’s announcement, we are investing in opportunities for job training in our workforce that will reignite and grow our economy.”

Murphy was joined at the announcement, which was held at Camden County College, by U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.)

Norcross said he welcomed the initiatives.

“The coronavirus pandemic has upended our economy, but we will recover by working together,” he said. “Using federal CARES Act funding, New Jersey is helping workers and businesses get back on their feet. These workforce programs will help employers provide skill-building opportunities and on the job training, connecting New Jerseyans with the services they need to get the job they deserve.”

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said there is need everywhere.

“We all know of businesses that are struggling or have closed, and workers who have been laid off or have had their hours drastically reduced as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to use these funds to turn lives around and help our state recover economically.”

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