NJ Labor Department Leads Data Project for Jobseekers in Changing Economy

A pilot project led by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), in partnership with other state organizations, will receive $1.45 million in funding from the Data for the American Dream (D4AD) initiative to expand access to education and career data that will help students and jobseekers in a changing economy.

New Jersey’s project will include the development of an interactive website with comprehensive data tools, which will create a new resource for jobseekers to obtain information about their desired employment field and earning outcomes, and provide access to training. The data will also help employers find qualified workers, and allow regulators to use data-driven information to assess the quality of career training programs.

“New Jersey is an innovation leader, so it’s only natural that we use cutting-edge workforce data to drive our innovation economy forward, and help guide jobseekers toward meaningful careers,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “I want to thank Schmidt Futures, Lumina Foundation, and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems for their partnership and support of our efforts.”

“The importance of using data in new and innovative ways to inform and improve public policy and services cannot be understated,” said Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer and Chair of the State’s Future of Work. “This innovative public-private partnership will help New Jersey career seekers make better-informed, data-driven decisions about where to invest their time, energy, and resources when preparing for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Though an estimated 13 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, the number of unfilled open positions is higher. D4AD supports projects that provide better career information to students and jobseekers – especially low-income residents, and those with whose skills are limited.

New Jersey will receive seed funding for 18 months.

D4AD is supported by a consortium of funders, including Schmidt Futures, Lumina Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The initiative is supported by its implementation partner, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).

Only two other states – Michigan and Colorado – received funding after D4AD received 12 full proposals.

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