Following the release of NJBIA’s guidance document on how New Jersey can best ensure the responsible use of $6.4 billion in federal pandemic recovery dollars, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka told NJ Spotlight News correspondent Rhonda Schaffler that paying down debt and having surplus funds were needed priorities for the state.

“We took on that $4 billion (in borrowing) last year and we can’t pay that back in the short-term,” Siekerka said on NJ Business Beat. “We have other long-term debt so we should now take that down, while we have the opportunity to have this extra surplus on hand.

“That’s a responsible way to spend our money that creates sustainability for the state of New Jersey.”

Siekerka also spoke of the need to include funding for workplace training.

“Look, we had a workforce crisis coming into 2020,” Siekerka said. “But what this last year showed us is that we need to be able to, on a dime, reskill and upskill our workers so they can pivot quickly to what is demanded of them.”

To see the full interview, click here.

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