Oct-03-14 Christie Administration Kicks-Off National Manufacturing Day Symposium
Labor Commissioner Highlights Challenges and Opportunities for New Jersey Manufacturing
SOMERSET, N.J., Oct. 3, 2014 _ Recognizing Governor Christie’s efforts to boost Advanced Manufacturing in New Jersey during a National Manufacturing Day symposium, Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development today outlined the ongoing efforts being made to train people to fill jobs in an industry sector where salaries and opportunities are increasing.
“These are not our grandfathers’ or our fathers’ dated manufacturing shops. The jobs emerging in the leaner, more efficient Advanced Manufacturing industry are far more demanding of skilled and highly trained workers than ever imagined in the days of productions lines. The salaries and wages being offered also are lucrative,” said Commissioner Wirths.
His remarks were made as he opened the Building A 21st Century Manufacturing Economy seminar hosted by NJBIZ and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) at The Palace at Somerset Park. The event was held in recognition of the 3rd Annual National Manufacturing Day, and also culminated a week-long celebration of New Jersey manufacturing initiated by ManufactureNJ, the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network, which is operated by NJIT under a contract with the Labor Department.
Commissioner Wirths noted the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), of which he is a voting member, approved five manufacturing projects last month, totaling more than $51.8 million in private investment, through the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. The five manufacturing companies approved at the September Board meeting span from Cumberland County to Passaic County and represent both large and small businesses.
The projects were approved for a combined total of up to $87.5 million in tax credits over ten years and involve the creation of an estimated 387 new jobs and the retention of 784 jobs at risk of leaving the state. To date, over 53.7 percent of the anticipated private investment by companies assisted through Grow NJ are in the manufacturing industry.
Commissioner Wirths also noted that more than half of the 836 training grants issued through the Department of Labor through the Skills4Jersey program have gone to manufacturing operations, resulting in nearly $20 million being spent solely on training people for New Jersey manufacturing operations.
The Department of Labor also finances the Advanced Talent Network, one of seven Talent Networks created to support the seven key industry clusters that employ more than two-thirds of the workers in New Jersey and pay more than two-thirds of the annual wages. Talent Networks engage industry employers to pinpoint the relevant skills that job-seekers need to get jobs in those major industry clusters and the Talent Networks link employers with the state’s educational institutions, employee training providers, state officials and job-seekers.
In turn, properly trained employees can help New Jersey businesses become more competitive and productive, which benefits the state’s overall economy.
Six other Talent Networks have been created around the following industry clusters: Life Sciences; Transportation, Logistics and Distribution; Health Care; Advanced Manufacturing; Technology and Entrepreneurship; and Retail, Hospitality and Tourism.
The Advanced Manufacturing industry cluster employs computer aided machinery and a streamlined approach in the production process, thereby reducing costs while maximizing output. The industry cluster contributed over $20.7 billion to New Jersey’s Real Gross Domestic Product in 2012, or about 4.8 percent of all state output.
Advanced Manufacturing employment is primarily comprised of four industry groups: chemical manufacturing (36%), computer and electronic product manufacturing (18%), fabricated metal manufacturing (16%) and machinery manufacturing (11%). The remaining 19 percent is made up of selected detailed industries. In 2013, there were 133,700 people employed in industries classified as advanced manufacturing in New Jersey, or about 55 percent of manufacturing employment statewide.
Chemical manufacturing industries, the cluster’s largest segment, employed roughly 49,000 in 2013, or 20.2 percent of all manufacturing workers in the state. The state’s jobholding in chemical manufacturing represents 6.1 percent of U.S. chemical manufacturing employment. The state’s Advanced Manufacturing industry establishments paid a total of more than $12.6 billion in wages in 2013, or roughly 6.6 percent of New Jersey’s total wages.
To learn more about the employment possibilities, pay levels and required education in Advanced Manufacturing, log on to http://careerconnections.nj.gov/careerconnections/ and click on Explore Careers.