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Chrissy Buteas

NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas

New Jersey has a hiring crisis and NJBIA is asking the Legislature to implement a “Return to Work Strategy” to ensure the state has a workforce ready to fill the jobs that employers have available.

The nine-point strategy that NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas offered in a letter to all 120 members of the Legislature on Friday, would ease unnecessary business restrictions, support the workforce, and assist businesses as New Jersey moves beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is great promise ahead, but our economy remains fragile: businesses are struggling to find workers, the number of small businesses open was down 38% on May 12 relative to January 2020, and New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 7.5%, the seventh highest in the nation,” NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas wrote.

Specifically, NJBIA is asking the state policymakers to:

  • Urge Gov. Phil Murphy to ease restrictions on the childcare industry, which are making it difficult for childcare centers to meet the needs of parents who want to return to work.
  • Request Governor Murphy reopen state One-Stop Career Centers that connect jobseekers to training and new employment opportunities.
  • Support workforce development initiatives through budget resolutions that fund programs to train and reskill New Jersey’s workforce.
  • Enact tax credits for employers worth 10% of wages, or 20% in counties where the county unemployment rate exceeded the state unemployment rate, who are earning near the minimum wage.
  • Provide balanced liability protections for the employer community to shield businesses, nonprofits and higher education institutions from lawsuits if they are complying with applicable safety guidelines
  • Reform antiquated laws limiting the hours when teenagers can work, which will help businesses fill open seasonal positions.
  • Urge President Joe Biden to expedite the J1 student work visas, a program that New Jersey seasonal businesses depend on in communities where there are not enough local workers.
  • Cover the unemployment insurance liability bills that many nonprofits are facing because of pandemic layoffs last year.
  • Lift unnecessary COVID-19 executive orders that continue to impose hardships on the business community.

Go here to read the entire letter to legislators.