Legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway, Bob Andrzejczak, Vincent Mazzeo, Carmelo Garcia, and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to require the state Employment and Training Commission to prepare an annual report on the state's workforce received final legislative approval from the Senate on Thursday.
The sponsors said the intent of the legislation - approved by the Assembly in March - is to ensure a comprehensive report is available for the Department of Labor to help establish a clearer picture of New Jersey's workforce. This annual report can be shared with public entities, private enterprise and educational institutions.
"Staying on track with state workforce training and education programs is a critical component to getting more New Jerseyans back to work," Singleton (D-Burlington). "With a better idea of the skills which compose our workforce, we can attract more companies, more jobs suitable to the state's workforce needs."
The bill (A-3019) requires the state Employment and Training Commission to prepare, at least annually, a report that evaluates and projects the state's workforce needs. It also directs the commission to use the resources and data of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education in preparing the report.
"Workforce training opportunities and education programs are essential to helping residents find work, especially in a competitive economy," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "By understanding the state's workforce, we can target and bring in the companies that meet New Jersey's workforce needs."
"This is a time of economic uncertainty and it is crucial that we continue to focus efforts on workforce training and education," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "We must make sure the state is moving in the right direction and doing all it can to meet the needs of our workforce."
Under bill, the commission would encourage the use of the report by public and private institutions and organizations to evaluate, develop and plan new and existing workforce training and educational programs.
"These are the programs that help potential employees to prosper in the in a 21st-century job market," Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "An annual review of where we are will only help us to better align educational pathways to jobs and careers of the future."
"An annual report will tell us if the state is moving in the right direction," said Garcia (D-Hudson). "It may also inform us of the areas we need to work on to build a strong and skilled workforce."
"Residents deserve more opportunity and access to better jobs and careers that will help to support their families," said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). "An annual assessment of the workforce and an understanding of how our training and education programs are working are crucial to job creation and getting residents into viable, long-term employment."
The report, at a minimum would include information that describes the state's workforce needs, the number of individuals receiving the credentials necessary to meet the state workforce needs and the absence or shortages of workforce training and educational programs necessary to provide the credentials necessary to meet the state's workforce needs.
The bill was approved unanimously by both houses and now heads to the governor's desk.