New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Signs Bill Giving Manufacturers Preference for Workforce Development Grants

Manufacturers have been a solid contributor to New Jersey’s economy for close to 200 years but are now feeling significant pain with the gap between the volume of open jobs in the manufacturing sector and the number of workers ready to fill them.  This skills-gap crisis can be attributed to things like an aging workforce compounded by a lack of interest in the sector among potential younger employees, an emphasis on college education over vocational training, and changes in required skillsets as technology advances drastically.

Recent studies show that the manufacturing skills-gap is expected to rise to as many as 2.4 million unfilled jobs between now and 2028.  These jobs include everything from digital and supply chain talent to skilled production workers, researchers, scientists, software engineers and operational managers to name a few.

What’s New Jersey Doing to Help?

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill on January 9, 2020 that gives manufacturers priority when applying for workforce development grants to train new and existing employees.  The law is intended to help support more than 250,000 people currently employed in New Jersey’s manufacturing industry by providing them with grants to assist in improving the skills they need to advance in their careers.

Under the old law, manufacturers were limited and only given preference for workforce grants if they met certain criteria.   Examples included being contracted with the military for things like equipment, supplies, and services, or if they were in advanced fields like science, technology engineering, and mathematics, or if they trained veterans.

Now, manufacturers will receive preference in receiving the training grants.

This is great news for New Jersey, as manufacturers will now have a greater ability to obtain grants to invest in their employees, retain their talent, and create jobs which helps grow the economy.


Sax will continue to keep you posted as updates emerge.  Should you have any questions with regards to workforce development grants, or anything related to the manufacturing industry, please reach out to a Sax advisor at (973) 472-6250.