TRENTON – By a vote of 28 to 7, the full Senate today granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Senator Sandra B. Cunningham that would streamline the funding process for basic skills training to help displaced and disadvantaged workers learn the skills they need to successfully return to the workforce.
“Successful job training programs are key to helping our residents survive this current economic downturn,” said Sen. Cunningham (D-Hudson). “Our community colleges have done a great job of administering this highly sought after program. By cutting out some of the red tape we can help accelerate the delivery of these training services to those who need it most.”
Under Senate bill A4325/S3113, also known as the “New Jersey Basic Skills Training Program for Economic Growth Act,” the state would dedicate 13 percent of funds from the Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills to the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development. The direct allocation would replace the system of grants currently used in order to provide a more efficient means to fund the program.
The training program was established in 2007 as part of a public-private partnership between the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the consortium, and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. During the first two years of the program, roughly 750 employers sent almost 10,000 enrollees to be trained, significantly more than any other single Department of Labor and Workforce Development grant program. The financing supports the state’s One Stop Career Centers, Workforce Investment Boards and Office of Customized Training.
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