NJ students will be better prepared for manufacturing careers under bill advanced by Assembly

NJ students will be better prepared for manufacturing careers under bill advanced by Assembly

Assemblyman Hal Wirths

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly on Monday advanced a bill sponsored by Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Brandon Umba that will align the education sector with manufacturing employers to create a pipeline of skilled workers prepared for careers in this growing New Jersey industry.

“Establishing manufacturing career pathways for students in New Jersey helps achieve two goals. One, it ensures there are qualified candidates who can fill in-demand manufacturing jobs and two, it keeps post-graduates in New Jersey by connecting them to high-paying careers in the state,” Wirths (R-Sussex) said. “Combining New Jersey’s high-quality education programs with manufacturing industry leaders to benefit the next generation of workers will strengthen our economy.”

The “Manufacturing in Higher Education Act” will promote and support a manufacturing pathway in the New Jersey Community College Consortium’s workforce development initiative, which is a collaboration between industry leaders, employers and education partners. Students will receive instruction in both traditional and advanced manufacturing processes and methods of production including technology, tools and equipment.

Assemblyman Brandon Umba

“New Jersey is nicknamed the Garden State, but it is also a manufacturing stronghold. There are employment opportunities in all the various manufacturing sectors including food, medical, technology, machinery and chemical. In order to fill those jobs, students need to have the right training and industry-recognized credentials. This measure will bring all the important players to the table to accomplish that objective,” Umba (R-Burlington) said.

Year-over-year, the manufacturing industry in New Jersey grew 4.5%, according to a 2023 report. New Jersey is home to more than 11,000 manufacturing businesses that employ more than 320,000 workers at an average salary of over $97,000. Manufacturing contributed over $59.9 billion to New Jersey’s gross domestic product in 2022. One out of every 14 state residents is employed in the manufacturing industry.

Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) sponsors the Senate bill (S659).