There has been a lot of talk about job training and job fairs for the thousands of Atlantic City casino employees who have lost their jobs thanks to the closures of Revel and Showboat.   

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In an exclusive interview, State Sen. President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) told Townsquare Media that we know these suddenly unemployed workers know how to do at least one job, and that is one argument for allowing casinos to open in the Meadowlands.

"There's going to be 8,000 families that lose their jobs all in a short period of time. I have never witnessed that even in the tough economies that we've been through since I've been here in one region of the state," Sweeney said. "We have our hands full and our jobs cut out for us, and this is when we can't bury our heads in the sand."

A lot of the people in North Jersey are going to Pennsylvania because they don't want to drive the two-and-a-half hours to Atlantic City Sweeney explained. He said opening casino-hotels in the Meadowlands could help recapture dollars that the state is currently losing. He said that money could be put into programs to help seniors and the disabled which is supposed to be the focus of gaming in New Jersey.

"I'm going to be focused on the economy and trying to find ways to stimulate the economy and put people back top work. A discussion on Atlantic City is critical," Sweeney said.

The senate president will join Gov. Chris Christie and interested stakeholders on Sept. 8 for a summit on Atlantic City's future.