$1.5M grant for Fort Monmouth displaced workers

TRENTON – Workers who were, or will be, dislocated from the closing of Fort Monmouth will receive some help, thanks to a $1.5 million National Emergency grant, federal Democratic lawmakers representing the state said on Friday.

The grant will go toward helping hundreds of workers who have lost or will lose their job between now and September and will provide training and re-employment services over the next year.

“Few things can be as overwhelming as losing your source of income in these tough economic times,” Sen. Bob Menendez said in a release. “Fort Monmouth’s closure will not only impact our military, it will impact families throughout the community whose livelihoods solely depend on the base’s operation. This funding will help thousands of these workers access the training they need to find a new job and get their life back on track.”

“I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Labor has accepted my April request to provide this much-needed funding as quickly as possible,” Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) said. “Especially in today’s difficult economy, it is critically important that America support our military and civilian workers affected by Fort Monmouth’s closure. This grant will fund vital retraining and job placement services to help workers find good jobs, support their families, and drive the New Jersey economy toward recovery.”

“The Fort Monmouth employees who choose to remain in New Jersey possess a unique set of skills that are important to the state’s competitiveness,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6).

Fort Monmouth was recommended for closing by the Base Realignment Commission several years ago. Since then, some $3.8 million has been awarded to the state Labor Department to help in issues related to the base closing.

On Nov. 18, 2008, the state was approved for funding in the amount of $3 million, with $1.5 million released initially, to begin providing services to BRAC-affected workers.

The grant on Friday represents the other half of that $3 million award.