Workforce Investments to Attract, Retain Residents

Significant energy and resources have been invested by the state to promote itself as an attractive and affordable place to live.

In particular, the enactment of property tax relief programs like Senior Freeze and StayNJ demonstrates the state’s priority to enable senior residents to afford living in the Garden State.

But to guarantee that New Jersey is competitive in its attraction to seniors, we must also invest in the infrastructure necessary to care for and support them as they age with grace and dignity.

Making New Jersey a promising residential and commercial location is a holistic endeavor, with workforce development being a critical thread. Our state’s workforce situation impacts every aspect of life – from providing working parents with reliable childcare options so they can rejoin the workforce to increasing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to find meaningful employment.

Increasing and maintaining access to medical care options for an aging population requires increased investment in, and attention to, both our healthcare and long-term care systems and the staff necessary to operate these systems. Legislative efforts like Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald’s healthcare workforce bill package demonstrate a commitment to this issue.

However, investments in workforce development must be a part of any initiative promoting residents of any age and businesses of every size to stay in or relocate to New Jersey.

4 Investments in Workforce Development to Retain Residents

NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities: The NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities program is advancing the efforts of our state’s educational institutions to meet workforce needs. Ensuring these initiatives are equipped to successfully deploy a workforce that can respond to market demands created by state-sanctioned programs and initiatives is vital.

Childcare Investments: Passing multifaceted legislation like Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz’s childcare bill package that promotes mixed-delivery methods to increase capacity, incentivizes employers to offer childcare options for working parents, and extends enrollment-based subsidy payments to providers is critical.

Inclusive Workplaces: Promoting organizations that integrate workers of all abilities into the workforce is important. The work of The Arc of New Jersey and Spectrum Works, among others, which connect prospective workers of varying abilities with employment opportunities to develop the full range of talent within our state cannot be accomplished without strong direct support staff.

Tuition Aid Grants: The Legislature expanded the tuition aid grant program last summer to enable learners to complete degrees quicker and start their careers. Legislation to expand TAG to the summer of 2024 is currently being considered. Lawmakers should also expand the TAG program to include non-degree credential programs that prepare learners for work in fields experiencing workforce shortages.

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