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The Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation that would require an annual $3 million appropriation to a fund for the New Jersey Community College Consortium to support the NJBIA Basic Skills Training Program.

The bill, A-3027, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-6), was approved 38-0 and now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature.

The legislation would require a minimum allocation of $3 million from the Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills (SWFBS) to an account in that fund dedicated to the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development. Existing state law requires that 13% of all monies appropriated to the fund, accumulated interested, and cash from other sources be allocated to the account for the consortium, but that 13% allocation has resulted in less than $3 million.

“This is very welcome news, particularly following Tuesday’s FY22 budget announcements for basic skills training and workforce development,” said NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas.

“Committing that much-needed appropriation into permanent statute will help both employees and employers who utilize a very proven Basic Skills Training program that has thus far trained more than 185,000 workers from over 11,000 businesses since 2007,” she said.

Buteas said NJBIA appreciates the sponsors and supporters of this legislation for championing an investment in a partnership between community colleges, NJBIA, and other educational and workforce development partners.

“Basic skills training and workforce development are permanent needs for both employees and employers, particularly in a post-pandemic world,” Buteas said. “We thank Governor Murphy and the Legislature for this key investment that will better help fill jobs and spur our economy.”

The Basic Skills Workforce Training Grant was initiated in 2007 and is a partnership of the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development.  It is open to all New Jersey privately owned businesses and organizations.