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An NJBIA-led bill that would create a more comprehensive and multi-faceted plan to improve the quality of New Jersey’s manufacturing workforce was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said the “Manufacturing in Higher Education Act” (A-2014/S-659) is a huge priority for NJBIA and NJMEP in their continuing Manufacturing Counts partnership, as well for NJBIA’s continued workforce development partnership with New Jersey’s community colleges.

“NJBIA and the manufacturing community appreciate Governor Murphy signing this bill into law today, and we also thank the many sponsors and supporters of this important legislation,” Siekerka said.

“Manufacturers are key to our state economy and job creation. Manufacturing also has much stronger wages and benefits than other industries and has a robust multiplier effect on the rest of the state’s economy. And in this industry that often does not require a college degree, finding a skilled workforce is a priority yet often a great challenge.”

The bill addresses manufacturing workforce needs by:

  • Aligning government, education and training providers on manufacturing pathways offered through the New Jersey Community College Consortium’s new Pathways to Career Opportunities program.
  • Creating a manufacturing liaison in the New Jersey Business Action Center directing state government to be more responsive to the needs of the manufacturing industry
  • Establishing a Manufacturing Council in the State Employment Training Commission

“This bill addresses manufacturing workforce deficiencies by aligning many of the critical players in the workforce development space in government, higher education and K-12 and it will focus them on meeting the needs of manufacturers in many ways,” Siekerka said.

“We foresee New Jersey’s manufacturing sector benefiting greatly from this new law.”