The New Jersey Business & Industry Association has launched a new, independent research foundation to help identify policy and workforce solutions for New Jersey.

Nicole Sandelier

Nicole Sandelier

Focus NJ – the Center for Economic Research and Workforce Solutions – is a nonpartisan nonprofit research foundation administering deep analysis of public policies, industry trends and economic indicators that impact New Jersey’s overall affordability, workforce and competitiveness.

Nicole Sandelier, NJBIA’s director of Economic Policy Research, has been appointed as the executive director of Focus NJ.

“Focus NJ will go well beyond augmenting the quality research conducted by NJBIA,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. “It will serve as a separate, enhanced research entity to bring timely, thorough and innovative studies for the purposes of identifying and informing policy recommendations.”

“Now more than ever, it’s critical to conduct research that will allow us to best prepare New Jersey’s workforce pipeline for the skill sets and jobs of the future,” Sandelier said. “We are confident that the foundation will become a strategic partner that stakeholders can utilize to help advance the Garden State into the next generation of economic and workforce development.”

In the coming weeks, Focus NJ will release the first report of a statewide Industry Series Study detailing the changing dynamics, opportunities and threats to seven different industries.  In addition, the study will also identify skill sets of the future and will provide recommendations on how to better prepare New Jersey’s future workforce pipeline.

Focus NJ’s board of trustees includes Siekerka (as chairperson); Junior Achievement of New Jersey President Catherine Milone (board treasurer); and Monmouth University Assistant Professor Stephen J. Chapman, Ph.D. (board secretary). Also serving as trustees are: Dale Caldwell, Ed.D. executive director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Rothman Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Bernard Corrigan, president of IBEW Local 102; and NJBIA Chief of Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas.

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