One-Year Pilot Version of Original Legislation Vetoed by Christie in February Moving Through Assembly
(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex) issued a multimedia package Monday on legislation reintroducing the ‘Back to Work NJ’ jobs creation initiative as a one-year pilot program.
Coughlin is a member of the Assembly Labor Committee, which favorably released the bill Monday.
The measure (A-4332), sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex), which would allow unemployed New Jerseyans to receive on-the-job training from potential employers, remains a centerpiece of the Democratic legislative efforts to create jobs and reinvigorate the state’s economy. A previous version of the measure was approved by the Legislature in January but vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie in February, despite the success of a similar program in Georgia and the inclusion of the concept in the President’s job creation package.
The bill permits eligible unemployed New Jerseyans to continue receiving unemployment insurance benefits while placed in on-the-job training with an eligible employer for a maximum of 24 hours per week for up to six weeks. It provides each trainee up to $100 a week to help defray training-related costs and is voluntary for both workers and employers.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Coughlin discussing the legislation and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Coughlin is appended below:
Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex):
“‘Back to Work New Jersey’ is a bill that allows folks receiving unemployment benefits to receive workplace job training, up to 24 hours a week for a six week period, at no cost to employers.
“The governor vetoed the last bill; it had a price tag of $10 million. The current bill is capped at $3 million.
“It’s good for workers and employers, to tell you the truth. It’s good for workers because it gives them the opportunity to obtain training while still receiving unemployment benefits. For employers, they get to meet potential job holders, and they get the chance to do that without the obligation to hire them and without any direct cost.
“The bill, as it stands, is designed to be a one year program; it has a one year cap on it. But it does provide a mechanism for assessing its effectiveness. If it demonstrates it’s a way to get New Jerseyans back to work, then it’s something we can consider to extend for the longer term in the future.”