NJBIA members must have access to a well-trained and educated workforce. Our most recent Business Outlook Survey indicates that entry-level employees generally lack employability skills such as writing, verbal communication, critical thinking and time management. We also know that technical skills gaps still exist as well, particularly in the manufacturing industry.
NJBIA works with academia, government and our members to ensure that programs are developed and implemented to strengthen the state’s workforce pipeline and close the existing skills gap. Thanks to these efforts several programs have already been implemented to attain these goals.
- Successfully lobbied for legislation to encourage dual credit agreements that enable high school students to earn college credits which can reduce the time and cost of a degree.
- Continued to obtain state funding for the NJBIA Basic Skills Training program for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The program provides training for communications, customer service, computers and English as a second language for current employees at no cost to employers.
- Successfully lobbied for New Jersey’s annual School Performance Reports to include indicators of student career readiness along with multiple measures of academic achievement, college readiness and post-secondary success in order to ensure that schools integrate career readiness into the curriculum.
- Successfully advocated for the County Vocational-Technical School Grant Program which spurred the creation of new career programs hosted by colleges, local high schools, employers and other partners in existing facilities in order to expand highly valued workforce training.
- Promote quality career and technical education opportunities that prepare students for careers as well as college;
- Improve standards and hands-on learning opportunities for students to help them develop the necessary employability and technical skills;
- Promote the teaching of soft skills as early as grade school;
- Develop pathways and stackable credentials for affordable and accessible higher education;
- Expand public and private school choice, and the capacity of charter schools, which give options for students in failing schools;
- Ensure workforce training programs are efficient and employer centric;
- Focus higher education curricula to include training and resources that prepare students for employment.