What is Governor Murphy’s ‘Jobs NJ’ Talent-Focused Plan?   

Governor Murphy today announced his talent-focused economic development strategy titled “Jobs NJ,” which is aimed at both expanding opportunities for career seekers and ensuring that employers have access to the talent they require.

It is collaborative developed by the Governor’s Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council and will be implemented by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the New Jersey Department of Education.

“Jobs NJ” features eight aspirations and 14 various initiatives within the broader categories of:

  • Expanding Access to Opportunity by increasing educational attainment among underrepresented minorities and other, targeted populations and ensuring equal access to opportunities in all regions of the state.
  • Training Individuals for In-Demand Jobs by connecting educational and training programs to industry needs and leading the region in programs that prepare adults for high-quality jobs throughout their entire careers.
  • Matching Talent to Jobs by ensuring access to up-to-date job information, celebrating employers that provide high-quality jobs, and creating a dedicated team to craft individualized solutions to complex access-to-labor problems.

New Jersey Secretary of Education Zakiya Smith Ellis noted that the “Jobs NJ” plan includes, in part, a commitment to having an additional 250,000 African-American, Latinx and Native American New Jerseyans attain post-secondary degrees.  The state also plans to assist about 25,000 adults in obtaining post-secondary degrees.

“It is not just [about] any credential,” Smith Ellis said. “It is about making sure [these individuals] are working in places that are relevant; that they are getting the skills that they need.”

“Jobs NJ” additionally includes increasing the number of post-secondary graduates employed in high-demand industries by the year 2025, for example.

Remembering his administration’s recent trade mission to India, Murphy said, “The two words that described this state more than any other [on that trip were] ‘talent’ and ‘location.’  It’s up to us to maximize the hand we have been dealt. [This strategy] is a roadmap to making New Jersey the location of choice for employers and talent alike.  It’s a new mindset for preparing our workforce not just for the jobs of tomorrow, but for those of ‘tomorrow’s tomorrow.’”

New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan noted that New Jersey now enjoys an unparalleled competitive labor talent advantage, and that conversations he has with business leaders often focus on that talent, as well as the state’s infrastructure and geographic location.

He added, “But it’s an asset that can erode quickly, particularly in a highly competitive, changing economy. If we are not making investments in workforce development – which is the other side of the economic development coin – we could lose that competitive advantage, and that would be a shame; it would [put] us in a much, much more challenging position for us to compete long term for businesses of the future.”

Sullivan lauded “Jobs NJ” and its talent investments, saying, “We are really excited about the plan the governor is announcing today and are eager to get to work on it.”

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, said, “NJBIA is very encouraged by the mission in the Jobs NJ plan announced today, as it aligns with much of the priorities and recommendations found in our Postsecondary Education Task Force report and the postsecondary work that we continue today.

“Matching talent to available jobs through more targeted educational initiatives and providing the greatest opportunities to provide students training for those careers and access to those jobs are critical for employers to succeed and grow in New Jersey.

“NJBIA appreciates the opportunity to participate in some of the subcommittees that contributed to this plan and we stand at the ready to work with Governor Murphy’s administration to bring it to action in a fiscally responsible manner.”

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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