CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346


Funds to be used for workforce development, affordable housing


UNION COUNTY---The County of Union has received approximately $6.1 million in stimulus money, consisting of $2.1 million from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development that will be used for assisting the unemployed, including retraining programs for adults and job programs for youth; $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program; and $1.4 million from the HUD Community Development Block Grant Program.

In all, the County of Union has received a total of $33.8 million in grants since January 1st in stimulus, HUD, and State grants. Of this total, much of the funding---$26.4 million---is from Federal Stimulus funds intended for economic and community development, workforce development and unemployment, transportation, energy efficiency, educational and healthcare programs.

“President Obama’s vision is helping to transform our nation’s future,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Working together, we will rebuild Union County’s infrastructure, retrain workers, create new jobs and build a brighter future.”

The projects to be funded by the latest round of stimulus funds include:

  • $1.39 million for retraining programs for dislocated workers---higher skill workers who may be unable to find employment given changing market conditions, and require retraining. Training opportunities will be made  available through County’s One Stop Centers in Plainfield and Elizabeth.
  • $249,000 for adults entering the labor market in need of upgrading their skills. Training opportunities will be made available through the One Stop Centers.
  • $475,858 for youth---this will be used for youth 17-24 for employment in Summer jobs programs at various public and faith-based entities.

On May 28, the Freeholder Board voted on a measure formalizing the use of approximately $591,000 of this money.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is designed to strengthen communities that are hardest hit by foreclosures and delinquencies.  Projects that qualify for NSP funding must benefit low or moderate income residents who meet eligibility requirements.

Typical examples include the rehabilitation of small vacant buildings into two to six affordable rental units, or into condominium units designated for sale to low and moderate income buyers.  Some projects involve the construction of new apartment buildings, for example affordable housing for seniors.

Union County has allocated the $2.6 million in NSP funding to projects in Elizabeth, Hillside, Plainfield, Rahway, and Roselle.  In addition, the State of New Jersey has also allocated state NSP funds totaling $9 million for projects in Elizabeth, Plainfield, Rahway, and Roselle.

The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) provides federal grants to local governments for neighborhood improvements.  Union County has allocated the $1.4 million in CDBG-R funds to the following projects:

  • Hillside: Reconstruction of Clinton Place from Williamson to Newark line ($47,280).
  • Linden: Street Resurfacing Project ($400,000).
  • Plainfield: Roadway Improvement and Repair ($409,888).
  • Rahway: Streetscape Project ($317,000) and Road Resurfacing ($137,000).
  • Roselle Park: West Colfax Avenue/Woodside Road ($61,710).
  • Winfield: Playground ($45,000).