Aaron Fichtner

Christie Administration Continues Workforce Alignment Effort With New Grant

The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development joined the State Employment and Training Council in kicking-off a coordinated statewide plan that will continue the efforts of the Christie Administration to connect education, workforce development and training systems with the needs of the Garden State’s changing economy.

The focus of the plan, outlined at a joint meeting of the Cumberland-Salem Workforce Investment Board and Economic Development Board held at the Ramada Inn in Vineland, is to ensure present and future New Jersey workers have the skills that employers want and need to prosper in a deeply competitive global economy. Recognized for its leadership in that workforce alignment effort, New Jersey was recently selected to participate in the National Governor’s Association Policy Academy on aligning education and training systems.

“It’s an honor to be included in the National Governor’s Association Policy Academy. We hope to build on the workforce strategies we already have initiated and implement other, newer ideas,” said Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths. “We recognize the importance of working cooperatively with our state partners and our employers to make sure we are providing our workforce with the skills they need to be successful in the Garden State industries that are driving our economic future.”

The Garden State is one of just 10 states in the academy that received grants of up to $175,000 for planning and technical assistance to work collaboratively with other state agencies to increase the number of people with post-secondary, industry-valued credentials that are in demand by employers. The State Employment and Training Council will lead what is being called “New Jersey’s Policy Academy” in partnership with the New Jersey departments of Labor and Workforce Development and Education, and the Offices of Higher Education and Economic Development.

The New Jersey Policy Academy has the following goals:

  • Implement a strong talent pipeline in New Jersey by connecting education and training systems with the needs of the economy
  • Recognize and encourage high quality partnerships between industry and education
    Strategically invest existing resources
  • Improve workforce policies using industry-led knowledge and workforce data

New Jersey joins nine other states in this two-year National Governors’ Association program and will receive guidance and technical assistance from the National Governor’s Association staff and faculty experts as well as consultants from the private sector, research organizations and academia.

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