The Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego (R-8) to support the growth of jobs in the state’s manufacturing industry.
Sen. Dawn Addiego’s bill to support New Jersey’s manufacturing industry. (SenateNJ.com)
“A step to a successful career begins with a step towards training,” said Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic). “We can create new pathways to employment by helping the state’s manufacturers to provide New Jersey residents with the skills they need to be valuable members of the workforce.”
Workforce development grants are available through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to help fund employer training programs that create, upgrade or retain jobs in a labor demand occupation.
Under current law, priority access to those grants is provided to employers who are engaged in a STEM field, or those who provide training to veterans.
Addiego’s legislation, S-446, adds employers engaged in manufacturing to those who have priority access to the workforce development grants.
She noted that New Jersey unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is among the worst in the country, made worse by a flight of manufacturers from the state. While the Garden State was once a manufacturing powerhouse, a mere 250,000 employees remain employed in manufacturing jobs in the state today.
“When 36 other states have lower unemployment rates than New Jersey, it’s clear that we’re doing something wrong,” Addiego added. “We’ve heard from our remaining manufacturers that they struggle to stay in New Jersey where there’s a critical shortages of skilled technical workers. If we focus our workforce development efforts on developing the skills they need, we can stop the erosion of this industry and help build new jobs that will grow the New Jersey economy.”
The legislation now heads to the Assembly for consideration.
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