New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill to Bolster Employment Opportunities in the Healthcare Industry Advances

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would bolster employment in New Jersey’s healthcare industry was approved by the Senate Labor Committee.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco’s bill that would bolster employment in New Jersey’s healthcare industry was approved by the Senate Labor Committee. (Pixabay)

“The loss of valuable heroes within the healthcare sector is a disturbing trend that is projected to worsen if we are unable to bolster employment opportunities in the industry. Healthcare professionals have endured a disproportionate amount of mental and physical stress due to staffing shortages and industry challenges stemming from the pandemic,” said Bucco (R-25). “A robust healthcare industry plays a vital role in safeguarding the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans. This legislation establishes a program to identify, recruit, and train unemployed individuals to bolster employment in the healthcare industry.”

The pandemic put excessive pressure on healthcare professionals as the industry was already suffering from a steep workforce decline. Challenges stemming from COVID-19 exacerbated the problems, which industry experts predict will worsen as vacancy rates continue to rise at an alarming pace.

A survey conducted by New Jersey’s largest healthcare union, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, found that there is an overwhelming sense of frustration among professionals in the industry due to burnout and stress caused by staffing shortages.

Senator Bucco’s bill, S-3121, requires the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, in consultation with the Department of Health and healthcare stakeholders, to create a program and standards that would identify, recruit, and train unemployed individuals to work in the healthcare industry.

When identifying potential candidates, the bill stipulates that the program must consider the practicality of training certain individuals, as well as the candidate’s ability to travel to and from their expected workplace, and other potential barriers that would prevent the individual from starting work immediately.

“The urgency to maintain a high standard of healthcare in New Jersey cannot be overstated,” Bucco stressed. “This bill paves the way for the Department of Labor to address the shortage of healthcare workers by developing a program that would improve staffing at hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the state.”

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