TRENTON, N.J. – A pilot program providing training for workers looking to enter the job market would be established by legislation approved today by the Assembly. Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space sponsor the bill (S1887/A4164) to train unemployed and underemployed job-seekers in math, literacy, technical and communication skills.
“People who have been out of work for a while can have a difficult time finding jobs because they lack the skills employers require in today’s changing marketplace,” said Wirths (R-Sussex), the former commissioner of the state labor department. “We have to change our approach or will be left behind and our economy will suffer.”
The bill directs the labor department create the year-long career and technical education certification program. Enhanced training for high-demand occupations, including the restaurant and hospitality industry will be available.
“This is all about helping people get better jobs and higher wages,” said Space, (R-Sussex), a small business owner. “Well-prepared workers are more productive and innovative and that’s good for our businesses.”
Under the bill, the program expires in July 2022 and is funded by the Workforce Development Partnership Fund. The department must send a progress report with recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2022.
“We like that this bill contains a sunset and ensures the Legislature receives a recommendation if we should continue the program,” said Wirths. “Participation is voluntary and funding will be available.”