N.J. TO LAUNCH $1.6M INITIATIVE AIMED AT CREATING JOBS, TRAINING
By Hugh R. Morley
June 29, 2011
New Jersey will next month launch a $1.6 million initiative to determine how best to create jobs and train workers in key industries, the state labor commissioner told a breakfast for Passaic County business leaders Wednesday.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development will fund a handful of think tanks – or “talent networks” – that will bring academics, business leaders, civic groups, educators and others together on a regular basis to look at ways to stimulate growth and employment in the sectors, said Commissioner Harold Wirth.
The seven sectors are: transportation, logistics and distribution; life sciences; advanced manufacturing; financial services; health care; green industries; and technology and entrepreneurship.
Wirth outlined the plan to at least 125 business leaders and government officials at William Paterson University in Wayne as part of a forum on job creation and the financial and other assistance available to employers.
He said the talent networks are part of his department’s effort to better identify the needs of employers and make sure the skills of employees match those needed in industry.
“We want to make sure we are training people for jobs that exist today and tomorrow,” Wirth said.
“The days of training people, wasting money on jobs that don’t exist any more, are gone.”
The department will next month announce six winners of a “grant opportunity” process begun last month when the department put out a request for applicants.