Murphy’s Future of Work Task Force Issues Call for Research

Working to Help Prepare NJ’s Workforce for Innovations in Technology and Automation

Gov. Phil Murphy’s Future of Work Task Force, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, and the state’s Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), is seeking expert research to inform the Task Force’s work. The Task Force, which was announced in early October under the Governor’s Executive Order 41, is charged with guiding innovation and technological advancement in the Garden State’s workforce.

“As we begin the process of reclaiming New Jersey’s place as the state of innovation, we must prepare our workforce for any challenges that may arise and ensure that our residents have the support necessary to succeed,” said Governor Murphy. “This research will be critical in our pursuit of a collaborative, data-driven strategy that ensures workers and businesses will thrive in the 21st century, while growing and strengthening our economy.”

According to the Request for Proposal (RFP), the Heldrich Center and the Chief Innovation Officer are soliciting original, data-driven research and analysis about the future of work in New Jersey, with a specific focus on four topics:

  • Which technologies will impact work in New Jersey? In particular, which industries and to what extent? What is the likely timing of these changes?
  • Which groups of residents in New Jersey will be most affected by these changes? How will these impacts differ by gender, race, income, location, and education?
  • What will be the impact of these changes on our communities in New Jersey, namely how people live and how they get to work?
  • In what way might these same technologies improve workplace conditions, create better jobs, and grow the State’s economy?

Proposals and qualifications will be evaluated by Chief Innovation Officer Beth Noveck and researchers from the Heldrich Center. Each longer research report (approximately 25 pages) will receive a payment of $5,000 payable upon completion and acceptance. Each shorter research report (approximately 10 pages) will receive a payment of up to $2,500 payable upon completion and acceptance. The closing date for the RFP is Nov. 26.

“One of the key purposes of Governor Murphy’s Future of Work Task Force is to tap into the tremendous expertise and collective intelligence that exists throughout the Garden State – and across the globe – to gain further insight into the effect that technology will have on our economy and our workforce,” said Dr. Beth Noveck, New Jersey’s chief innovation officer and chair of the Future of Work Task Force. “We’re excited to extend this opportunity to experts inside and outside of academia to contribute to our efforts, and help drive the direction of this task force.”

“The fast-paced, ever-changing nature of technology will certainly add new demands to New Jersey’s workforce, and this important research will drive the strategic planning and smart policies that will support and protect our workers in the innovation economy,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

“For a quarter of a century, the Heldrich Center has devoted its resources to studying the impacts of globalization, as well as demographic and technological changes on American workers and employers,” said Carl Van Horn, distinguished professor of Public Policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the founding Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers. “We are thrilled to partner with New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer and the Governor’s Task Force on the Future of Work on research and solutions that will help our state lead and thrive given the profound transitions that are coming.”

The Future of Work Task Force is to be comprised of up to 25 leading global thinkers, innovators, researchers, and economists to assess the State’s labor market and working conditions. The goal of this partnership is to identify and prepare for technologies, such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence, in a way that best enhances New Jersey’s workforce.

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