The president of the state chamber’s foundation will serve as just one of 35 individuals from across the county to participate in a panel focusing on major workforce development and education issues.
On Monday, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce said Foundation President Donna Custard will take part in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Business Leads Fellowship Program as part of its “Elite Cohort” advanced track.
According to NJCC, members of the group receive training to better build connections between their communities’ systems of education and its students, and the needs and opportunities of its workforce.
This is the fourth Cohorts of Fellows, according to NJCC, however, it is the first Elite Cohort for the U.S. Chamber Foundation; the group will meet for the first time in Miami in January 2020.
The criteria to be chosen for the program includes five or more years of partnership with the U.S. Chamber Foundation, establishment as an education and workforce leader at either the state or local level, and the successful implementation of education and workforce development programs in a person’s local community.
Custard was chosen to participate in the group based upon her previous involvement with U.S. Chamber Foundation initiatives and her work in the Garden State in developing education and workforce initiatives to address the disconnect between New Jersey’s top-ranked schools and what Custard referred to as a difficulty for employers in finding qualified employees.
In New Jersey, Custard and NJCCF were recently recognized for the Jobs for New Jersey Graduates program, which places high school students previously considered at-risk for leaving school in full-time jobs, post-secondary education, or in the military.
“Workforce development is a major issue in the state, but there is no cohesive plan to tackle our challenges,” Custard said in a prepared statement. “My goal is to bring best practices from around the country to New Jersey so that we can tackle our workforce development needs.”