The New Jersey General Assembly last week approved legislation that would provide greater access to state workforce development funds to companies that provide equipment or services to the state’s five military installations.
A-2517 would extend a preference for Department of Labor and Workforce Development grants to employers that support military installations, as well as those who provide training for veterans, reported the Cape May County Herald. The bill also prioritizes workforce grant funding to companies that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, or advanced manufacturing within those fields.
“This legislation will help ensure that New Jersey’s defense-related industries have the employees they need to continue supporting our state’s military installations,” said Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D), who sponsored the measure along with R. Bruce Land (D).
The legislation passed the Assembly unanimously and now awaits Senate consideration.
The bill stems from the recommendations of the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force released last July. The task force report urged a broad focus on economic development outside the state’s installations as a way to strengthen partnerships between the military and the private sector. New Jersey’s installations provide 45,631 direct jobs and 27,603 indirect jobs, according to the report.