Colleges, Universities and Training Programs That Do Not Comply Would Lose State and Federal Funding
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would require job training providers and schools to submit data regarding the completion and success of their programs in order to receive state or federal training funds was approved on Monday by the Senate Labor Committee.
“Training providers and schools are required to submit information that allows consumers to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs before students make time and financial commitments to enroll,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Given that these training providers receive millions of taxpayer dollars to train unemployed and underemployed workers, it is a matter of responsible government to track the effectiveness of these programs to determine if we should continue to direct students and taxpayer dollars to them.”
The bill, S-2362, would require training providers or qualified schools under the State Eligible Training Provider list to submit certain information to the Center for Occupational Employment Information in the Department of Labor to be provided in the online consumer report card. The schools and programs would at minimum submit the number of enrollees in the program, program completion rate, employment placement information, licensing information, examination results, enrollee demographic information, and information showing long-term success of former trainees concerning employment and salary.
The New Jersey Department of Labor already collects data for the online consumer report card that provides information to consumers and policy makers on training programs throughout the state. However, very few training providers and schools report the data, as required, and the State does nothing to penalize training providers and schools that fail to comply. Under the bill, any training program or school that does not submit the information would be removed from the State Eligible Training Provider list and be ineligible for public training funds.
“We need to know more about these programs’ results to improve the way taxpayer funds are invested, but also to prevent students from taking out loans and accumulating debt to attend a program that does not pay off,” said Turner. “Consumers are now left in the dark, not knowing whether a program they have selected will effectively help them reach their employment and financial goals. And if increasing employment numbers to improve our state’s economy is our goal as a State, we need to ensure that taxpayer funds are being invested wisely.”
The bill was approved by the Committee with a vote of 5-0. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.