The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development is applying for a federal Good Jobs Challenge grant and it is seeking input by Nov. 8 from businesses with hiring needs, as well as community-based organizations that help people return to work, to partner in this effort.

Good Jobs Challenge grants are designed to strengthen regional workforce training systems through public-private partnerships. This $500 million initiative is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

As the lead agency spearheading the application, NJDOL is seeking feedback from businesses in any sector who have input on the skills and training needed to build the workforce of the future and who will also make a commitment to hire these skilled employees. Grants will be awarded to workforce agencies that can demonstrate strong partnerships and whose training and hiring needs are driven by demand.

NJDOL wants to hear from businesses with immediate hiring and training needs. Proposal specifics, including prioritization of industries, will be determined based on business community input. NJDOL is working on the application in collaboration with the Department of Education, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, State Employment and Training Commission, New Jersey Council of County Colleges and other stakeholders, including NJBIA, who are committed to building economic progress and sustainable growth.

“This grant could be instrumental in establishing innovative partnerships with in-demand growth industries and expand experiential and career-relevant learning opportunities as we work to strengthen New Jersey’s workforce and enhance students’ postsecondary pathways,” said Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges, Ph.D.

“Collaborations between employers, local communities, and the higher education sector are essential to ensure that the postsecondary-to-employment ecosystem is well-positioned for the future,” Bridges said.

More information about the Good Jobs Challenge can be found on the NJDOL website here.