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The pandemic forced many businesses to innovate, automate and adapt to modern technologies much faster than they would have otherwise planned, so does that mean lower-skilled workers will be left behind in New Jersey’s future economy?

NJBIA President & CEO Michele told NJBIZ Editor Jeff Kanige on Wednesday that workers “hold all the cards” right now in the current hiring crisis because businesses, especially those employing entry-level workers, are short-staffed. But eventually the pandemic will end, and the labor shortage will resolve itself as childcare and eldercare become more accessible and unemployment benefits expire.

“This is my message to the workforce: Skills rule. Please know that today (businesses) are filling seats out of desperation, but that is going to change very quickly,” Siekerka said. “People have to skill up. And the opportunity for workforce development ‘skilling up’ means a higher wage job.”

Go here to watch the video of “NJBIZ Conversations EXTRA: Michele Siekerka.”