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The Basic Skills Training Program would receive a minimum of $3 million a year under legislation approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) supports the bill.

The funding would come from the Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills and placed in an account dedicated to the NJ Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development and used to administer the training.

Currently, the program is supposed to receive 13 percent of the total appropriations from the Supplemental Fund. S-3534 (Cunningham, Bateman) would guarantee that the appropriation would equal a minimum of $3 million and provide for extra funding if the percentage falls short of that amount.

“S-3534 would provide a predictable and consistent funding source for an important workforce development program provided by the consortium and in partnership with NJBIA as well as other statewide business organizations,” said Michael Wallace, NJBIA director for Employment, Labor and Federal Affairs.

“Our members have expressed a high level of satisfaction with the program, and due to its unique flexibility, the program is able to reach more workers and employers than any other state training program,” Wallace said. “This bill provides a predictable and consistent funding source for an important workforce development program.”

The Basic Skills Training Program is a public-private partnership between NJBIA, the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the consortium. Since its inception in 2007, 134,000 employees from over 8,500 private sector companies have received training through 11,449 classes. Last year, the program served 1,068 businesses, 72 percent of which were small businesses.