TRENTON - A bill to help train laid-off Atlantic City casino workers for new jobs is advancing in the New Jersey Legislature.

A Senate committee of Thursday approved a bill to have the state Labor Department screen former casino workers and develop training programs to help them find new work.

Workforce Development Partnership funds would be able to be used for county college tuition; classes or other fees at a county vocational school district or for training provided by an approved training provider; books; transportation and lab fees.

Four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos shut down in 2014, eliminating more than 8,000 jobs.

The program would accept new participants for three years, or until the average unemployment rate in Atlantic County falls below 5 percent for three consecutive months.