TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation today, sponsored by Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space, establishing a pilot program to provide jobseekers with in-demand training.
The bill (S1887/A4164) passed the Assembly in May before the Senate approved it with amendments extending the program until Jan. 1, 2023, when a report on the effectiveness of the program is required.
“We have to change our approach to training or workers will be left behind and our economy will suffer,” said Wirths (R-Sussex), the former commissioner of the state labor department. “People who have been out of work for an extended period can have a difficult time finding jobs because they lack the skills employers demand in today’s changing marketplace.”
The bill directs the labor department to create a year-long career and technical education certification program that will train underemployed and unemployed workers in 10 high-demand industries. The program will offer at least 20 industry-recognized credentials in addition to courses supporting math, literacy and communication and career success skills.
Funding for the program comes from the Workforce Development Partnership Fund, which is dedicated to helping displaced or underemployed workers build skills that lead to gainful employment.
“Well-prepared workers are more productive and innovative. That’s good for business,” said Space (R-Sussex), a small business owner. “This program is all about helping people fill job vacancies and earn higher wages.”
Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) is also a cosponsor of the legislation