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Lawmakers look to boost state's manufacturing training programs

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State legislators want to provide a financial boost to the manufacturing training programs in New Jersey, a move proponents argue will help employers fill thousands of skilled labor positions.

Under Senate Bill 2839, the state would appropriate $250,000 to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program Inc., which the federal government would match with $250,000 of its own money.

The NJMEP would use the funds to boost its workforce development programs, support entry-level training, provide credentials to state residents and offer employment to the state’s underserved residents, such as veterans.

The Senate approved the measure by a 39-0 vote at its Sept. 27 meeting; the Assembly 77-0 at its Oct. 29 meeting.

“There is a common misconception that accessing a high-paying job requires an expensive four-year degree. That is not the case,” Sen. Steven Oroho, R-24th District, a sponsor of the Senate bill, said in a statement. “Workforce development programs such as the NJMEP have produced tangible results for our veterans, unemployed and underemployed residents.”

New Jersey’s manufacturing industry generates $46 billion annually and creates 250,000 direct jobs and 1 million indirect jobs, according to a statement from the Legislative District 11 offices, whose state senator sponsored the Senate bill.

“Manufacturing is a key industry here in New Jersey, making major contributions to our economy and employing hundreds of thousands of hardworking residents,” said bill sponsor Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-11th District, in a statement. “It is imperative that we as legislators work to support our manufacturing industry and organizations like NJMEP that advocate on behalf of manufacturing business owners and employees.”

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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