Economy, The Tri State

Murphy announces comprehensive plan to develop workforce in New Jersey

Governor candidate Phil Murphy has announced a multi-faceted approach to improving job training and the development of the New Jersey workforce to ensure that workers have the skills they need not just to compete in economy of the 21st century, but also to rebuild the state’s global competitiveness in new business and create a solid and fairer economy with opportunities for all residents.

Murphy’s announcement was made at a press conference in Trenton, opposite the James Kersey Campus of Mercer County Community College, where he was joined by Federal Senator Cory Booker, a strong advocate for job training.

“To build the new economy, strong in innovation and infrastructure – we need a workforce that is ready to take on the challenges and policies rather than unite students, workers and businesses under one roof,” Murphy said.

“For many residents, a focused training program will prepare them for a well-paid job. New Jersey needs a whole new economic road that reflects our values, our diversity, inclusive, innovative and broadly backed by the best-educated and best-qualified workforce that grows and strengthens our middle class, “Murphy said.

With high rates of unemployment

Murphy’s proposal is to confront the economic failures of Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who has left New Jersey with one of the highest rates of long-term unemployment nationwide, especially for older workers, according to the Murphy campaign.

Moreover, from 2015 to 2016, state investment in labor force development programs declined. And the average income in families remains below 2009 levels.

“Our candidate Phil has established a holistic vision to grow New Jersey’s economy and create more jobs,” Booker said. “Murphy knows that education and training are the keys to growing our economy and ensuring equal opportunities for all.”

Murphy’s proposal

A community college with free enrollment. Phil Murphy will make New Jersey one of the few states that offers free community college access for new high school graduates as well as older students looking for new skills or new careers. Tennessee, one of the few states with a free community college program, experienced a state cost of $ 34 million. Murphy estimates a program in New Jersey could cost up to $ 200 million.

Prepare students for a rapidly changing world by investing in vocational-technical education and launching the “Computer Science for All” initiative to make it easier for all public school students to access coding skills.

Make job training more effective by expanding apprenticeship programs and other job opportunities that will provide alternative paths to a good career. Currently, only 42 percent of the national average is enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

Job training should be inclusive for all residents. This includes programs for individuals with disabilities, and making job training more accessible to ex-offenders through re-entry programs. Murphy will also commit to closing unemployment gaps in fields where traditionally the doors were closed to women and minorities, including technology and commercial work.

Strengthen key industries in New Jersey, including its clean energy and climate adaptation sectors. New Jersey has lost several sectors in the innovative industry with neighboring states competing with New York and Massachusetts due to its investments in labor development that attract these highly technical services, eg New Jersey, has only 15 business accelerators / incubators, while New York has 179 incubators.

Murphy said that during the time he served as the United States ambassador to Germany, he saw the impact of comprehensive workforce development programs and this country has one of the world’s leading models for using technical education and training as the backbone of a sustainable economy to a strong and vibrant middle class.

In 2015, Murphy and his wife, Tammy, co-founded the New Start Career Network in collaboration with the Rutgers Heldrich Center to provide training and resources to unemployed people over the age of 45. To date there are more than 2,600 members of New Start, many have returned to work and others are still preparing with 233 volunteer trainers.

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