Thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New Jersey Hospital Association will now be able to help uninsured Americans gain health care coverage while also providing employment opportunities for former servicemembers.

According to The Trentonian, the hospital association will use the grant to hire 25 veterans to counsel those interested in purchasing new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Created through a partnership between the NJHA and the N.J. Department of Labor, the new role of certified application counselor requires veterans to be placed at hospitals throughout the state.

"Because veterans offer a unique set of skills, discipline and leadership abilities developed during their years in the military, they are ideal candidates to fill the role of [certified application counselor] CACs," Aline Holmes, RN, director of the NJHA Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, told the news source. 

Hiring veterans as CACs is the latest step New Jersey is taking to alleviate its high unemployment rate for veterans, which, at 10 percent, was the highest in the nation durin​g 2012, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Current data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate for veterans nationwide is currently 6.9 percent.