Attracting and retaining a qualified, skilled workforce is the top concern we hear from employers. NJBIA has been at the forefront of addressing pressing workforce needs.
Expanded Teen Work Hours. NJBIA was the lead supporter of legislation signed into law in July that expanded summer work hours for minors and updated the antiquated process for obtaining working papers. This new law makes it easier for businesses to hire and manage teen workers, and helps teens earn more money and gain valuable work experience that builds a strong work ethic and career awareness. It’s even a win for the rest of New Jersey’s residents because it helps reduce long lines and customer wait times that result from staffing shortages.
Growing New Jersey’s Manufacturing Workforce. Manufacturing has faced a steep decline in New Jersey during the past 30 years. Employment has shrunk from 16.2% of the total workforce to 8.6% between 1990 and 2020, and many of those now working in the industry are nearing retirement. Through our “Manufacturing Counts” initiative with NJMEP, NJBIA secured funding in the current state budget for programs through NJDOL and NJEDA that will help attract more people to well-paying manufacturing careers. We are also fighting for passage of the Manufacturing in Higher Education Act to further improve the quality of the workforce.
NJBIA is leading various coalitions to address the challenges of attracting and retaining a workforce critical to public health. This includes fighting to stop the state’s diversion of professional licensing fees for other purposes and supporting incentives that attract more people to work in this life-saving industry. NJBIA’s partnership with New Jersey’s community colleges is building career ladders in the health services sector. We urge businesses to be part of the solution by joining us at www.njpathways.org.
Supporting Childcare Programs. Stabilizing the childcare industry and increasing access to high-quality programs is important to working families, providers and the business community. That’s why NJBIA supported the new “Thriving by Three” competitive grant program to incentivize the creation of new infant and toddler childcare slots throughout our state. We are also advocating for passage of temporary tax incentives for businesses to provide employee childcare in their facilities, reimburse parents for childcare expenses, or contract with private providers so their employees can enroll their children.
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