TRENTON – The Senate Labor Committee released a bill (S2840) from committee Thursday morning that would create new job training programs for laid off casino workers following the several casino closures in Atlantic City the last two years.
Senator Fred Madden (D-4), who posted the bill in committee, said that he sees the bill’s advancement as a positive for an aging segment of South Jersey’s workforce that faces one of the worst economic climates in the state after the gaming industry’s decline.
Senators Jim Whelan (D-2) and Diane Allen (D-7) sponsored the bill.
Madden’s home district has seen the aftershocks of casino workers’ hard times, and Madden said he hoped the bill would provide some relief.
“They’re of all ages, but there’s a good portion of them too that are on the latter end of their careers, and I just find that people who are in that season of their life, when all of a sudden their employment and their income has ceased, that’s pretty gut-wrenching.”
8,300 casino employees were put out of work last year when the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, the Trump Plaza Casino, and the Revel Casino Hotel were all shuttered. Under the bill tuition, books and transportation would be funded for certain candidates who meet Department of Labor and Workforce Development criteria and wish to enroll in job training courses at a community college or vocational school.