TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) that funds the expansion of an existing program that provides free basic skills training to thousands of workers each year.
“New Jersey should be aggressively working towards providing quality and concrete employment for its citizens,” said Bateman. “By increasing funding for job training, we are focused on enhancing New Jersey’s workforce and ensuring employers access to well-trained New Jerseyans.”
Bateman’s legislation supports the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development Basic Skills Program through the allocation of funding for increased basic skills training, including additional technology and management education.
The bill ensures that $3 million from the Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills be allocated to the consortium and expands a preexisting 2010 law that provided a lesser amount.
It also requires the consortium’s continued work with all 19 community colleges and their 63 campuses to provide no-charge training to both employers and employees.
According to the Pew Research Center, 46 percent of workers under the age of 30 believe they do not have the skills set to get ahead in today’s job market.
In 2007, the consortium partnered with both the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and the New Jersey Department of Labor to create the NJBIA Basic Skills Workforce Training Program. Since its creation, the program has trained over 120,000 workers.
In 2017, the program trained 17,186 people from 1,068 companies.
“The Basic Skills Training Program has produced tangible results for our veterans, unemployed, and underemployed residents,” said Bateman. “By providing greater access to technology, management, and job skills training, the Basic Skills Program will provide New Jerseyans with critical skills that will make them valuable to employers.”