By David Madden
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — As the Jersey shore prepares for another summer season, Atlantic City and South Jersey continue to wrestle with massive unemployment in the wake of last year’s closure of four gambling casinos.READ MORE: Beach Erosion Will Keep One-Third Of North Wildwood Beaches Closed Memorial Day Weekend
But programs designed to help are beginning to bear more fruit now, with the help of a $29-million federal grant.
A number of job training programs were now in place, but they only go so far, according to Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian.
“They completed their training, and at the end we had no jobs for them,” he said of some of the participants. “So what was the whole purpose for this if we couldn’t place them?”READ MORE: CBS3 SummerFest: 2 St. Joe's Grads Bringing New Tiki Cruise Experience For Adults To Wildwood
The new grant, from the US Department of Labor, provides seed money to pay not just for training but to coordinate that training with specific jobs, mostly in the private sector.
State labor officials say hundreds of people have already gotten new jobs through this program. About 800 are now available, according to Guardian, with another 300 in the pipeline.
And, the mayor notes, with city and school layoffs pending here, this program will help people on those fronts as well.MORE NEWS: Barnegat High School Student Stabbed During Fight In Bathroom
They’re still taking applications for this “re-emploment program”: on the phone, at 855-748-8125, or online at jobs4jersey.com.