Employers in the manufacturing industry, which is currently in the midst of a skills-gap crisis, could receive some help through a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Hal Wirths, R-24th District.
Assembly Bill A4023/Senate Bill 446 gives manufacturers preference when applying for grants to train their employees. The legislation passed the full AssemblyNov. 25, 73-0-0, and passed in the Senate in June 2018, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Manufacturers currently employee more than 250,000 people in New Jersey. It’s important to our economy that we support this industry and the workers who call this state home,” said Wirths. “It’s smart for manufacturers to invest in their employees and retain their talent and this bill will help them do just that.”
Under current law, employers are given preference for workforce grants if they contract with the military to provide equipment, supplies, or services, if they are in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or advanced manufacturing fields, or if they intend to train veterans. Wirths’ bill will add manufacturers to the list.
The average annual salaries of those employed in the manufacturing sector range from $60,000 to more than $90,000.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the Workforce Development Partnership Program, which provides training grants to employers throughout the state to enhance the skills of employees and the competitiveness of the employer.