Advances in ‘Production in Higher Education Law’ Conference – NJBIZ

The Assembly Higher Education Committee has revised the “Manufacturing in Higher Education Act” to prepare students for future careers in manufacturing.

Sponsored by Assemblymen Hal Wirtz, R-24th District; Brandon Umba, R-8th District; and Herb Conaway, D-7th District, Assembly Bill 2014 would create and promote programs at colleges and county vocational schools that align with the needs of the industry.

“Providing students with rewarding and high-paying jobs while meeting the needs of the manufacturing workforce is a win-win,” Wirth said. “The importance of New Jersey’s manufacturing industry has been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic as it ramps up production of essential goods. It is a vital industry that affects every resident. This bill allows us to support their growth and train students for future jobs here in the Garden State.

Trembling Success

NJMEP’s 10th annual ‘Made in New Jersey’ Manufacturing Day drew a record crowd to highlight the industry’s value to both the garden and the nation. High school students also had their time to shine at the event. Click here to read more.

– Matthew Fazalpour

“The manufacturing industry affects all 21 counties. From food to medical devices, there are job opportunities in every sector. Ensuring students are qualified for these careers is an investment in New Jersey families and our state’s economy,” Umba said. We need to upgrade and modernize our education programs.”

The bill, sponsored and advocated by the New Jersey Association of Commerce and Industry, says the legislation provides a comprehensive and comprehensive plan to improve the quality of the manufacturing workforce in New Jersey. In written testimony to the committee, NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz noted that the manufacturing sector was experiencing labor shortages before the outbreak.

“What makes that crisis worse is that in this climate where working from home is more popular, remote manufacturing is not possible,” Emigholz said.

NJBIA said the bill would address manufacturing workforce shortages by bringing together many critical actors in the workforce development space in government, higher education and K-12 to meet the needs of manufacturers in a variety of ways.

Among them:

  • aligning government, education and training providers with manufacturing pathways offered through the New Jersey Community College Consortium’s New Career Pathways Program;
  • Establish a $10 million grant program to support manufacturing workforce development programs for education and training providers and increase awareness of manufacturing careers;
  • Create a manufacturing relationship in the New Jersey business center;
  • Directing the state government to be more responsive to the needs of manufacturing industries; And
  • Establishing a Manufacturing Council in the Regional Employment Training Commission.

That career path program includes instruction in traditional and advanced manufacturing processes and production methods, including machinery, technologies, tools and equipment. County colleges, four-year institutions and county vocational schools are eligible for funding to establish, expand and promote their manufacturing programs.

Christopher Emigholz, Vice President of Government Affairs, Taxation and Economic Development, NJBIA - NJBIA


Emigholz also pointed out that the legislation would be a major focus of the manufacturing census partnership between NJBIA and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP).

“Manufacturers are key to our region’s economy and job creation,” Emigholz said. “The industry provides about 250,000 jobs scattered across the state [and] In the year It will contribute more than $56 billion to the region’s GDP by 2021. Manufacturing has higher wages and benefits than other industries and has a strong multiplier effect on the rest of the state economy. And in this industry, which often doesn’t require a college degree, finding a skilled workforce has often been a major complaint for years.

Senate Bill 659, sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho, R-24th District, passed unanimously in June.

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