Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation on Aug. 23 directing the creation of a pilot program to train unemployed and underemployed workers in 10 industries.
Funding for the program, to be developed by The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will come from the Workforce Development Partnership Fund.
According to Assemblymen Hal Wirths, the former commissioner of the state’s labor department, and Parker Space, primary sponsors of the legislation, the year-long program will offer at least 20 credentials on top of courses to build math, literacy communication and career skills.
The restaurant and hospitality industry is among the sectors for which the program will develop and offer a certificate course.
The measure – Senate Bill 1887/Assembly Bill 4164 – passed the Assembly in May. It was approved in the Senate in June, with amendments to extend the program until Jan. 2023, after which a report detailing the program’s effectiveness will be required.
“Well-prepared workers are more productive and innovative. That’s good for business,” Space, a small business owner himself, said in a statement. “This program is all about helping people fill job vacancies and earn higher wages.”
The bill’s other primary sponsors include Democratic state Sens. Troy Singleton, 7th District, and Linda Greenstein and Wayne DeAngelo, both 14th District.