Task Force Delivers Recommendations on Technology Initiatives to Assist Workforce
On Feb 17, 2022
The New Jersey State Future of Work Task Force today released 19 core recommendations that underscore the state’s need to invest in policies, platforms, and programs that respond to both the challenges and the opportunities technology creates to foster worker rights, worker safety, and lifelong learning.
The roadmap and recommendations highlight policies and initiatives that the Task Force has advanced since its formation by executive order in October 2018. These include the nation’s first $10 million lifelong learning account pilot for low-wage workers, the creation of the nation’s first Future of Work Accelerator to incubate 20 innovative technologies or services designed to help workers in New Jersey and nationally, and the launch of the country’s first training transparency platform designed to help workers make more informed decisions about their lifelong learning.
The Task Force’s 19 recommendations focus on themes of health and safety, rights and benefits, and lifelong learning and upskilling.
Create Lifelong Learning Accounts (accounts that help people invest in and access training opportunities) for all New Jerseyans, fund the accounts of low-wage workers, and encourage and provide mechanisms for employers to match funds for lifelong learning.
Encourage all employers to invest in worker training, lifelong learning, and reemployment, and create financial incentives for small and medium-sized employers to do so.
Support innovation and skills collaboratives to align New Jersey’s education and workforce systems, and align individuals’ education with their desired career pathways and in-demand jobs.
Continue to expand low-cost access to degree programs (including access to community colleges), career and technical education, training, apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships.
Fund and create better enforcement mechanisms to ensure employer compliance with workers’ rights and benefits laws, while integrating strategic enforcement mechanisms to proactively pursue violations using predictive analytics and publicize violations as a deterrent.
Explore the creation of a portable benefits system to provide more benefits to non-traditional workers.
Launch an employer education initiative on the risks of algorithmic hiring tools to prevent discrimination and promote diversity in hiring, and explore the potential need to develop policy that would prohibit the use of discriminatory technology in hiring.
Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer, and Chair of the Task Force, commented, “From the outset of the Task Force, we aspired to assemble and mobilize a diverse body of dedicated experts – not just to advise, but to act,” said “The Task Force has not just formulated recommendations, but has taken actions to measurably improve opportunities for workers in New Jersey.”
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) is reviewing the recommendations. The association has previously issued recommendations on the impact of technology on the workforce. Focus NJ – NJBIA’s nonprofit research foundation – issued its Future of Work in Industry series in late 2020 and early 2021, which can be found here.