Aug-13-10 McDermott Updates Burlington County Chamber On Department and Administration’s Initiatives
TRENTON, August 13, 2010 – Department of Labor Chief of Staff Matthew P. McDermott was one of the key speakers at the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce quarterly economic outlook forum in Burlington County.
McDermott, joined Richard Bagger, chief of staff to Governor Chris Christie and Lori Grifa, commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs in a panel presentation concerning the first six months of the Christie Administration.
McDermott spoke about the role of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) in the Governor’s efforts to make New Jersey more affordable, more responsive to the needs of business, and a magnet for cutting-edge employers.
“Governor Chris Christie’s decision to appoint Hal Wirths to lead LWD brought a businessman’s perspective to the department,” said McDermott. “Commissioner Wirths, who built and ran his own business and helped found a community bank, well understands the needs and concerns of small businesses and is working to make the department more responsive to the business community.”
Comments from McDermott highlighted some of the department’s tools and services available to assist employers including providing data on the economy, labor force and demographics to help employers access critical intelligence in support of strategic business decisions. McDermott also highlighted the Department’s training partnerships with businesses through Customized Training and Workplace Literacy grants.
McDermott also told Chamber members about changes initiated by Commissioner Wirths’ such as bringing New Jersey’s “rounding” rules on pay for time worked into conformity with the federal rounding standards, This rule change will make it easier for employers to comply while still protecting the rights of workers.
Commissioner Wirths also was involved in the joint efforts by Governor Christie and the Legislature to reform New Jersey’s unemployment insurance system and to protect employers from an automatic increase in the wage tax that could have increased the cost to businesses by $400 per employee.
About 100 Burlington County employers attended the session.