Sen. Menendez Kicks Off Jersey Jobs Tour Union County College Elizabeth Campus

Sen. Menendez speaks to Union County College students. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Sen. Menendez poses with Union County College students. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Left to right: Mayor Bollwage, Freeholder Angel Estrada, Sen. Menendez, Freeholders Vernell Wright and Bette Jane Kowalski. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Left to right: Esteven Maas, Bob Tarantino, Sen. Menendez, and Ivette Maiave.

ELIZABETH, NJ – Esteven Maas needed a job. “I was out of work with a wife and two children, and it was scary. I was sending out resumes, then I got this email saying, ‘Learn to be a machinist.’ I thought, ‘Wow! that is related to what I was doing.’”

He entered the manufacturing program at Union County and had a job waiting for him at New Jersey Precision Technologies in Mountainside when he finished.  

Maas told his story at the statewide launch of Senator Robert Menendez’s Jersey Jobs Tour May 22 at Union County College’s Center of Economic and Workforce Development.  The senator is introducing the Better Education and Skills Training (BEST) for America’s Workforce Act. It would create a competitive $1 billion tax-credit program to encourage job training partnerships between local colleges and businesses to equip workers with skills that a match a community needs. It would also provide local businesses that train and hire long-term unemployed workers up to $4000 in tax credits for the tuition cost at a community college for each job filled that requires a specific certificate or other training credential.

Sign Up for E-News

It is a win-win for both employers and job seekers, according to the senator. He stated that while 7 million are looking for work, there are 5.5 million jobs that are unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the required skills. He further stated that 45 percent of small businesses reported difficulty finding qualified applicants. “The problem is that employers are struggling to find workers who have the right skills,” said the senator.

Citing the increasing global competition, Menendez stated that the U. S. has decreased 6 percent in worldwide economic output since 1980, while China’s economic output has risen to 14 percent.  “In today’s economy, competition is critical.”

The issue may be national, but the solution is local and found by working with local businesses and college to identify the community’s needs and provide the training to fill those high skill jobs, said Menendez. “If we want to say Made in America, we have to help to make them (businesses) competitive.”

Agreed Bob Tarantino, CEO of New Jersey Precision Technologies, who, in addition to Maas, hired a second UCC grad Ivette Maiavѐ. “The program that the senator is creating is important for the industry, and it is really important in putting people back to work.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

ECSNJ Partnership with Rutgers Behavioral Health Helps Students Manage Life’s Challenges

March 19, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ – A collaboration with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care is providing more behavioral and emotional support for students attending two Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ) schools.

Appearing on ESCNJ’s Better Together podcast, Assistant Superintendent Gary Molenaar said Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care “is a recognized ...

Celebrate National Ag Day at the Middlesex County EARTH Center

EARTH CENTER, NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from agriculture. That is why America’s farmers and their crops are celebrated each year on National Ag Day, which falls this year on March 20.

To honor this day, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County has planned a new seminar entitled The State of Agriculture and ...

Piscataway Libraries Host Annual NJ Makers Day Program

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Piscataway Public Libraries were once again hosts to dozens of “makers” for the 4th Annual NJ Makers Day celebration.

The Saturday events at the Kennedy and Westergard Libraries featured activities and demonstrations by members of the maker culture with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiatives.

Among other ...

NCAA Tournament: Heilmann and DelVecchio Both Secure All-American Honors; Suriano Becomes Rutgers' First-Ever Finalist

CLEVELAND, OH -The senior class of South Plainfield High School’s “Murderer’s Row”, the 2013 team that earned a group title, two individual state titles, and produced five state placewinners, knows a thing or two about making wrestling history. The 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament marks the last time two standouts from 2013 team, Troy Heilmann and Scott DelVecchio, will ...

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy's 4th Annual Spring Splendor ...

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM


The Basics of Starting a Business

Business & Finance

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...