Trenton – In an effort to improve the competitiveness of New Jersey manufacturers, legislation to establish a permanent new source of funding for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), cleared the Senate Labor Committee today. The funding would be up to $1.5 million. The bill is sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Steve Oroho.
“As Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, I have quickly understood the importance of retaining and expanding upon manufacturing jobs in New Jersey,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program has always been a significant piece in assisting manufacturers across the state. With a permanent source of funding, they will be able to be consistent and effective with their work.”
“As a member of the Manufacturing Caucus, I am proud to sponsor this legislation to ensure the State’s support of the manufacturing sector that New Jersey residents depend on,” said Senator Oroho (R-Morris/Sussex/Warren). “The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program will help grow jobs and strengthen the State’s manufacturers in the competitive global market. Without costing taxpayers anything, this bill will help grow our share of high-paying jobs and encourage manufacturers to expand here.”
“One of the reasons I’m fortunate to serve as the CEO of NJMEP is because of days like today, when we can move forward, in a bipartisan way, with Senate Labor Committee approval on Bill 1957. This bill provides strong support for NJMEP which has important impacts in New Jersey. Approval from the Senate Labor Committee is the beginning of the planning for a broader manufacturing strategy which includes NJMEP, to ensure our state is more competitive in the global market, and that we’re doing everything we can to help our local manufacturers grow and create jobs,” said John W. Kennedy, CEO, NJMEP.
Funding for this legislation would not come from the state budget. Instead, it would act as a successor for the Workforce Development Partnership Fund, which exists within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and is already funded. Any State level money received for an MEP is matched dollar for dollar at the federal level.
According to their website, the NJMEP is a private, nonprofit organization that improves the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance.
The bill, S-1957, was released from committee by a vote 5-0.