NEWARK – As the nation celebrates Military Appreciation Month, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced the launch of new program aimed at providing smooth transitions for military families and veterans relocating to New Jersey.
The program, “A Hero’s Welcome to New Jersey." helps military spouses who hold professional licenses in other States become licensed in New Jersey, so they can quickly find work in their chosen professions when relocating. The program also assists veterans obtain licensure for post-military careers in New Jersey.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the members of the military who heroically put their lives on the line to serve our country, and to their families, who are just as dedicated to that service. As military families, they’re frequently called on to uproot their lives and rebuild them in new, unfamiliar places,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Today New Jersey is expressing its gratitude to them by launching a program that will provide them with the assistance they need to quickly settle in as New Jersey residents and pursue their own careers here.”
New Jersey is home to more than 300,000 military veterans, approximately 7,700 active-duty service members, and five military bases. Each year, new families relocate to those bases.
According to a recent survey of military families, relocation and employment are top concerns of military spouses. For many, every relocation brings the added stress of finding a new job in a new State. For those who work as licensed professionals – from healthcare practitioners and plumbers to accountants and hair stylists – their first order of business is to become licensed in their new home State.
The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs currently oversees 51 professional and occupational boards and committees and licenses more than over 720,000 individuals in the State.
Through its new program, “A Hero’s Welcome to New Jersey,” DCA personnel are available to provide applicants with guidance on how to qualify for licensure, to assist them in identifying and submitting documents to verify their qualifications, and to help them with any questions they encounter during the application process.
“New Jersey appreciates and values the sacrifices made by our military families and the veterans who have served our country,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The program we’re announcing today is our way of welcoming them to New Jersey and letting them know we’re here to support them.”
“Military families, by occupation, are required to move often to support DoD missions and do so willingly,” said Brig. Gen. Jemal J. Beale, the Adjutant General of New Jersey and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "Our service members and their families are skilled and dedicated professionals who only want an opportunity to compete for employment. This program will make the move to New Jersey easier for military spouses as they bring their skills and talents to our state’s workforce."
“A Hero’s Welcome to New Jersey” is the latest DCA initiative to support members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Among those programs is the “Defending Our Heroes” anti-fraud educational initiative aimed at protecting veterans and active-duty services members from a host of scams targeting them and their families.
The Division also promotes vocational opportunities for veterans through its participation in New Jersey’s “Boots to Business Reboot” workshops, which provide free entrepreneurship training and advice to veterans interested in starting, expanding, or purchasing a small business. Co-sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, The American Legion, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Boots to Business workshops feature advice from experts from veterans outreach centers and business counseling services across the state, including representatives from the Division who educate veterans on the laws and regulations governing small businesses in New Jersey.