The development of a 21st century workforce is essential to enhancing the global competiveness of New Jersey’s businesses. As Chairman of the State Employment and Training Commission (SETC), I am privileged to work with other business leaders, policy experts and state agency partners who serve on the SETC to provide policy direction to guide workforce investments administered by local Workforce Development Boards throughout New Jersey.
SETC policy direction also impacts the work of state workforce development programs. Ultimately, the goal of the SETC and local Workforce Development Boards is to prepare workers throughout New Jersey with the training, skills and credentials necessary to meet the dynamic needs of New Jersey businesses.
There are 17 local Workforce Development Boards, formerly known as Workforce Investment Boards, throughout the state. Workforce Development Boards are business-led groups that serve a city, county or multiple counties and work in collaboration with economic development entities and related organizations to promote economic growth and the full utilization of their local workforce. Workforce Development Boards identify the needs of local job markets, leverage resources, oversee One-Stop Career Centers and direct workforce development programs in their areas. The vision, mission and goals of these boards guide the local one-stop service delivery system for unemployed job seekers, businesses, incumbent workers looking for a better job and young people entering the workforce. As labor markets and economic development efforts span counties, Workforce Development Boards collaborate with one another to plan regional initiatives.
The SETC is currently working with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Talent Networks to address the specific workforce needs of New Jersey’s industries. While Talent Networks work to identify workforce needs in all New Jersey industries, they are primarily focused on identifying the needs of industries projected to employ the most New Jerseyans in the future. The goal of the Talent Networks is to connect businesses in New Jersey’s industries with educational institutions, workforce development agencies, and government and community groups to identify the skills and training Garden State employers require in prospective employees to remain competitive in the global market. Students and job seekers then receive training to develop skills that provide long-term jobs and help boost the state’s economy.
As our work significantly impacts businesses throughout New Jersey, business leaders are encouraged to get involved with local Workforce Development Boards. Local Workforce Development Board members help shape workforce initiatives to reflect the needs of area respective industries. Member guidance is crucial in determining the effectiveness of workforce programing and determining ongoing industry needs. If you are interested in serving on a local Workforce Development Board, please contact the Workforce Development Board in your area. A list of local Workforce Development Boards can be found at www.njsetc.net/njsetc/localwib/find/.