New technologies were already reshaping in-demand jobs and skills prior to the pandemic, but the disruptions from COVID-19 have accelerated many of those trends and ignited new ones.
A 2021 McKinsey and Company report found that the share of the US workforce that may need to transition to jobs in new occupations by 2030 had increased from 7.9% in the “pre-COVID-19 scenario” to more than 10% now. Additionally, more than half of those workers would likely need to add new, more advanced skills in order to make the necessary transition.
Recognizing this shifting landscape was part of what led Focus NJ in 2020 to launch the Education and Workforce Development Taskforce in collaboration with NJBIA. The taskforce was convened to better understand the workforce development landscape in New Jersey and to identify ways to foster new collaborative relationships and increase training opportunities for workers.
The group, which was comprised of leaders from business, industry, academia, workforce development boards, nonprofit associations, and state government, identified the need to expand partnerships between business, academia and government to create a sustainable “workforce ecosystem” in New Jersey.
As a result of the taskforce’s feedback, Focus NJ recently developed the online Workforce Development Initiatives and Opportunities Resource Page where users can search for information on hundreds of workforce development programs and initiatives in New Jersey.
At launch in August, the site’s database contained more than 200 unique entries, ranging from state government programs to training opportunities hosted by private organizations. Entries include program descriptions, contact information, and links to additional details on the provider’s webpage. All entries are also linked to an interactive mapping tool that allows users to quickly identify programs and initiatives available in their communities.
Professional development and lifelong learning continue to be essential tools for successful careers. To that end, this new public resource will be continually updated to reflect the changing landscape of available programs and to update information related to existing initiatives.
To find workforce development opportunities in your community, or to read further about the taskforce’s recommendations, visit focusnj.org.
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