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


Travel Advisory - Air Travel, Rail, and Bus Service Set To Resume on Thursday, March 22

March 22, 2018

TAPintoTravels - Whenever there is inclement weather, it pays to keep informed.  Today, (Thursday, March 22), the FAA is reporting a normal return to service with less than 15 minute delays.  LaGuardia has reported that 90% of scheduled flights are scheduled to takeoff.  Newark Liberty is reporting that 180 flights are canceled.

NJ Transit is reporting a ...

Unity and purpose will allow Democrats to unseat Lance

March 11, 2018

In November, we have a chance to unseat Leonard Lance, Congressman for the NJ-7 district which includes Springfield. Leonard Lance voted to take away healthcare from his constituents and recently stood by as his party passed a tax plan in which his district became the second most negatively impacted district in the COUNTRY.  Lance is an enemy of a woman’s right to control her body but ...

Bruce Springsteen's Historic "Springsteen On Broadway" Run Extended Through December 2018

March 22, 2018

TAPintoTravels - Bruce Springsteen's historic sold-out series of performances of his one man show “Springsteen On Broadway” at Jujamcyn's Walter Kerr Theatre will be extended through a final New York City show December 15, 2018.  Eighty-one additional shows will go on sale for performances July 10 through December 15, 2018, marking the third time ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

March 21, 2018

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 22, 4:00 PM

Saint Joseph's Church, Maplewood

Maplewood Glee Club Spring Concert: It's About ...

Arts & Entertainment


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

My Clutter is Taking Over! with Jamie Novak at ...

Home & Garden