Department of Labor announces $29.4 mil emergency grant for embattled Atlantic City

 

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An economically struggling Atlantic City will get up to $29.4 million in National Emergency Grant funds to New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development to benefit the Atlantic City casino workers impacted by the casino closings `through the U.S. Department of Labor, the department announced today.

Filed by the state in December, the grant will fund employer-driven training programs and help affected workers learn new skills for reemployment in new and emerging job sectors.

The award comes after New Jersey’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Bob Menendez, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez advocating for the 6,500 New Jerseyans affected by the closures of the Revel, Showboat, and Trump Plaza casinos in Atlantic City.

“The Atlantic City economy was dealt a staggering blow with the closure of these casinos,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a statement following the news. “For the thousands of workers who lost their jobs as a result, we are committed to providing the resources, support and training they need to get back on their feet.”

Booker said the grant represents “another important step” toward Atlantic City’s rebound, which has suffered a decline in its casino industry in recent years.

“This National Emergency Grant is focused on the workers and will be utilized to increase occupational skills and to get those impacted by the casino closing back to work,” Booker said. “This has been a unified effort, working with my colleagues in Congress to secure and expedite assistance to the thousands of New Jersey families in need and to get Atlantic City on strong footing again.”

“I am pleased that the Obama Administration recognized the growing need for assistance in Atlantic City and answered our call for help,” added Menendez.  “The National Emergency Grant is an important step toward putting hard working people back to work and moving Atlantic City forward.  It will provide vital resources for skills training, job placement and increased employment opportunity to the thousands who recently lost their jobs.  I want to thank my Congressional colleagues who are unified, in a bipartisan effort, to help our residents impacted by the casino closings.”

“Today’s news is certainly welcome for Atlantic city casino workers and the greater Atlantic County region. A key consideration of any business looking to open its doors or expand operations is a readily available workforce. As we work in partnership to bring new economic opportunities to the region, this federal funding will ensure residents will be properly trained and prepared to step into those jobs,” said LoBiondo. “I appreciate the hard work and joint efforts of Senators Booker and Menendez, my colleagues in the delegation, Atlantic County Executive Denny Levinson and Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian throughout this challenging time for South Jersey.”

U.S. Reps. Donald Norcross (D-1), Frank Pallone (D-6), Rush Holt (D-12), Donald Payne Jr. (D-10), Albio Sires (D-8), Bill Pascrell (D-9), Chris Smith (R-4), and Jon Runyan (R-3) also joined in the letter urging Secretary Perez to support the Atlantic City Re-Employment Initiative.