Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, sponsor of a resolution urging the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite a grant to assist workers impacted by recent Atlantic City casino closures (AR-192), issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the awarding of up to $29.4 million in National Emergency Grant funds for workforce training and education programs for individuals in the Atlantic County region:
“The top priority of everyone with a stake in the Atlantic County area is reestablishing a strong economic footing for the region. The job training and education for which this grant provides will play a major role in that process, and I am grateful to have had the support of Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez as they led New Jersey’s congressional delegation in securing these funds.
“Thousands of people who worked at Revel, Showboat, Trump Plaza, the Atlantic Club and related businesses lost their jobs suddenly when the casinos closed and now must search for employment in a dismal economy. New Jersey has a vested interest in ensuring that they are prepared.
“In a state with a staggering cost of living, depending upon the temporary unemployment benefits available to displaced workers simply is not a viable option, particularly for those with families to support. The employer-driven workforce training and education programs this grant funds will help equip them with the knowledge and in-demand occupational skills they need to be successful in today’s workforce.
“In addition to the direct economic implications of the grant, we must also keep in mind the value of the sense of personal pride that comes with working. The dignity derived from being able to secure steady employment and contribute to New Jersey’s economy will be essential to lifting up this area of our state.
“I look forward to continued cooperation with those at the state and federal levels as we move closer toward our shared goal of restoring the Atlantic City region.”