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Lagana Introduces Bill to Boost Jobs, Workforce Training for Military Veterans in STEM Fields

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic) has introduced legislation that would support the development of manufacturing jobs and workforce training for New Jersey veterans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Today’s veteran soldiers are more exposed to high-tech systems than any prior generation,” Lagana said. “Many know how to operate aerial drones, satellites, and can build and repair robotics systems. Veterans have the professional experience and technical skill set that New Jersey’s employers look for when building their workforce.”

The bill (A-4429) prioritizes certain employers to provide them greater access to workforce development funds. Employers, who will provide training to veterans, are manufacturers, or those employers that focus on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, will be given priority for training dollars under Lagana’s legislation.

“Jobs in the STEM fields are closer to the skill sets of many veterans returning home from the military,” Lagana said. “Allowing companies’ to gain greater access to the resources that will help them create jobs and workforce training programs in the tech field will help put more of New Jersey’s military veterans back to work. This bill is a win-win for New Jersey military families and the state economy.”

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development currently provides funding to the Workforce Development Partnership Program for employer training programs that create, upgrade or retain jobs in a labor demand occupation. The bill will expand the program to include employers who are engaged in manufacturing a STEM field, or are providing training to veterans to retain these valuable employers in New Jersey.

The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.