New Jersey’s manufacturing sector received a boost with the passing of legislation by both the Senate and Assembly to create a permanent funding source for the New Jersey Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP). This funding is particularly timely, due to the many challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding will be focused on job growth and training opportunities, as many see that the manufacturing industry continuing to play a key role in economic recovery.
“The manufacturing industry in New Jersey is strong,” said Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips (R-40). “They have ensured jobs remained in the state while responding to the coronavirus pandemic by retooling operations.”
The legislation calls for $1.5 million to be dedicated to the NJMEP, annually.
Moving Funds to Support Job Growth
With this funding, the NJMEP will act as a successor to the Workforce Development Partnership Fund, which exists within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It is already funded.
“NJMEP helps businesses navigate in a growing, competitive global market, and their success has aided our state in job creation and growth,” said Senator Steve Oroho. “Their efforts throughout the pandemic has furthered stamped their reputation for providing critical support and meeting needs for both clients and their customer base.”
Focus on Efficiency, Economic Recovery
The NJMEP is a private, nonprofit organization that works with manufacturers to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance. This support can go a long way towards helping companies navigate the current climate, and focus on recovery.
“The NJMEP has always been a significant piece in assisting manufacturers across the state,” said State Zen. Linda Greenstein (R-14). “With a permanent source of funding, they will continue to be an effective economic driver and advocate for the manufacturing industry.”
Roundtable Leads to Change
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Legislative Manufacturing Caucus met with manufacturers and industry leaders to discuss the pandemic’s impact. Members heard about ways that they could support this important state sector.
“These are already dedicated funds that are being reallocated to better support jobs in a growing sector,” said DePhillips. “NJEMP will train the unemployed and underemployed for careers in manufacturing—a nimble industry despite the challenges during this pandemic. The manufacturing industry will be a major player in rebuilding New Jersey’s economy.”