As N.J. lags in job creation, $12.5 million to fund training and placement programs

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A liberal advocacy group is contending that New Jersey has not produced enough jobs for the people who have been unemployed for a long time.

Forty-nine percent of unemployed workers in the state have been out of work for more than six months, said Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective.

“We’re in the bottom two of the country for that,” he said Wednesday. “What that means is there are a quarter of a million households where there’s no income coming in.”

The state and federal governments are not sitting idly by, said New Jersey Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a $10 million grant, while New Jersey will provide an additional $2.5 million to train more than a thousand long-term unemployed residents.

“It will be working with all different job-coaching and training and outreach-development programs, and we’ll be specializing in some of our key areas like life sciences, IT, and advanced manufacturing,” Wirths said.

About 50 percent of the new funding will go as salary reimbursement to employers who hire those who have been out of work for a lengthy time.

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