Verrelli, Reynolds-Jackson & Swain Bill Authorizing Political Subdivisions to Set Aside Public Work Funds to Recruit and Train Women and Minorities, Promote Local Hiring Becomes Law

(TRENTON) – In an effort to expand training and employment of New Jersey’s women and minority residents in the construction industry, as well as to promote local hiring, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Lisa Swain was signed into law today.

The law (A-4817) allows for any political subdivision of the state, including a school district, to set aside 0.5% of the portion of any public work contract for the recruitment and training of women and minorities in the construction industry or for the purpose of providing incentives or otherwise facilitating a local hiring and employment program.

“This law will expand employment access for many individuals across the State,” said Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “While New Jersey State authorities are currently allowed and encouraged to promote the hiring and training of women and minorities, political subdivisions in the State do not have the same legal, monetary ability. Amending the law to allow them to do so means helping people put food on the table for their families.”

“Political subdivisions of the State should have the same power as State authorities to determine whether they wish to set aside allocated funds for the purposes of recruiting and training women and minorities,” said Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “We should not get in the way of helping expand employment, and we should be doing all we can to help uplift communities.”

“There is no reason why New Jersey’s political subdivisions, such as school districts, should be barred from dedicating funds to promote the training and hiring of women and minorities when other State authorities are allowed to do so,” said Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic). “This law will increase the effectiveness of current State law in order to best serve the needs of New Jersey’s residents.”

Previous state statute authorized a state set aside of 0.5% of the value of public work contracts for these purposes, but did not allow for political subdivisions to do the same. This new law amends that.

The law was introduced on December 17, 2018.