TRENTON – Legislation to create the Back to Work NJ program intended to stimulate job growth by allowing unemployed New Jerseyans to receive workplace training from a potential employer was released Wednesday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3584), which was approved by a vote of 8-2-2, is a centerpiece of a Democratic legislative effort to create jobs and boost New Jersey’s economy. The legislation is based on the successful Georgia Work$ program.
Georgia Work$ is a Georgia Department of Labor initiative that allows unemployed job seekers who have registered for services to receive workplace training from a potential employer for a maximum of 24 hours per week for up to six weeks.
In Georgia, 36 percent of participants are hired within the first six weeks Beyond that, 6 percent found jobs in the next 90 days. More than 11,000 different Georgia employers have participated.
Under the bill, the program would be established within the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance to allow an eligible participant who is receiving unemployment insurance benefits to receive workplace training from an eligible employer.
The bill provides that an eligible participant in the program may receive workplace training from an eligible employer for a maximum of 24 hours per week for up to six weeks.
The bill provides to an eligible participant, based upon his or her needs, up to $100 per week to help defray training related costs, including, but not limited to, transportation, clothing and child care.
The bill also requires that participation in the program be voluntary for all eligible participants and eligible employers.
Finally, the bill appropriates $10 million to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Of this amount appropriated, a sum not to exceed 2 percent of the appropriation is allocated to the department for costs associated with the administration of the program. The remainder of the appropriation is allocated among eligible participants of the program for the purposes of defraying the costs of workplace training.
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