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NJ invests $8.4M to expand talent development centers

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Left to right: Dr. Joseph Tormey, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University / Leah Arter, Business Development Administrator, Rowan College at Burlington County / Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. / President Donald Borden, Camden County College / President Fred Keating, Rowan College at Gloucester County
Left to right: Dr. Joseph Tormey, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University / Leah Arter, Business Development Administrator, Rowan College at Burlington County / Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. / President Donald Borden, Camden County College / President Fred Keating, Rowan College at Gloucester County

New Jersey's Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced an $8.4 million investment of state funds into expanding the state's talent development centers, which are dedicated to creating partnerships between industries and state colleges to offer training and employment opportunities.

The state will create four additional talent development centers that focus on the industries of life sciences, financial services, hospitality and tourism, and construction and utilities.

These centers will be in addition to the three already-established centers that focus on advanced manufacturing, health care and logistics.

The talent development centers will be housed at the following campuses:

  • Advanced Manufacturing - Camden County College;
  • Transportation, Logistics & Distribution - Rowan College of Burlington County;
  • Health Care - Rutgers School of Management and Relations in New Brunswick;
  • Life Sciences - Rutgers School of Management and Relations in New Brunswick;
  • Construction & Utilities - New Jersey Institute of Technology;
  • Financial Services - Rowan College of Gloucester County;
  • Retail, Hospitality & Tourism - Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck campus.

Each center will receive $1.2 million in funding, most of which comes from the state’s worker wage tax, as well as threading various state dollars intended for specific types of workers, to provide access to training and employment opportunities in each industry.

“We’re investing in higher education that blends classroom learning and workplace learning with huge involvement with employers,” Commissioner of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development Aaron Fichtner said to NJBIZ.

The talent development centers will provide prospective workers multiple pathways for each industry that steadily transitions from education to employment. Each pathway is created with a collaboration between employers in each industry and the state.

A representative from the department of labor gave the nursing shortage as an example.

The health care industry has reported a shortage of nurses across the industry, leading many people to pursue nursing degrees, only to graduate and have difficulty finding a job because they lack experience.

The nursing pathway for the health care talent development center would advise and place prospective nurses into working opportunities to bridge the gap from their education to employment.

"This would give us an opportunity to work with some of the entry level programs to get them into high-paid jobs," Executive Director for Rutgers' Talent Development Centers Padma Arvind said.

The announcement was made at Camden County College earlier today.

A follow-up conference is planned at New Jersey Institute of Technology at 2 p.m. today.

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn


Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers cannabis, government and tech.

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