(TRENTON) — Legislation Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) sponsored to ensure women- and minority-owned businesses benefit from economic stimulus projects was signed into law on Monday by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

The law codifies an executive order signed August by Corzine.

“It’s crucial that every sector of our economy be given the chance to benefit from the federal and state stimulus packages and the work they offer,” Watson Coleman said. “We must do everything we can to expand job opportunities for everyone, especially those entering the workforce, those who are unemployed and those who are underemployed.”

Among other things, the law (A-4323) will:

  • Establish goals for state agencies, authorities, colleges and universities and commissions to contract with minority- and women-owned businesses consistent with recommendations made in two disparity studies done by the state;
  • Ensure that jobs created through federal and state economic recovery funds are posted on the Department of Labor’s Web site;
  • Encourage state agencies, authorities, colleges and universities and commissions receiving recovery funding to work with contractors and organized labor to ensure diversity among the ranks of the workforce;
  • Ensure that minorities and women are afforded training and apprenticeship opportunities for construction trades; and
  • Ensure that minorities and women are given equal opportunities for employment on work sites funded through state and federal economic stimulus dollars.

“This is a pivotal step forward for many New Jersey businesses looking to flourish as New Jersey leads the pack in the coming economic recovery,” Watson Coleman said.

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