Oct-24-16 Christie Administration Helps Connect Job Seekers with In-Demand Skills
New Credentials List Identifies Training Valued by New Jersey Employers
TRENTON, N.J., October 24, 2016 – Continuing the Christie Administration’s efforts to match the skills of workers with the needs of employers, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development today announced the release of the Industry-Valued Credentials List. The department’s labor market analysts worked closely with employers, educators and workforce development professionals to compile the list of 198 credentials and degrees deemed most in-demand in New Jersey.
“The creation of the Industry-Valued Credentials List is a critical component of this administration’s commitment to increasing the number of New Jersey workers with an industry-valued postsecondary credential or degree,” said Acting Commissioner Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Combined with our other workforce development efforts, we are creating a path for job seekers to get the credentials they need to achieve rewarding careers.”
The Industry-Valued Credentials List was assembled using a wide array of workforce data, industry-specific focus groups, online surveys, and expert input from the state’s seven Talent Networks, in addition to a public comment period. This new feature adds to the state Labor Department’s extensive collection of online resources for students, job seekers and policy makers.
“Our higher education institutions will play an increasingly important role in providing workers with the skills needed to secure employment and succeed in the workplace,” said Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks. “Our strong partnership with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is continuously enhancing policy and programs to support a dynamic innovation ecosystem as postsecondary institutions are undergoing fundamental change. To keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of a global economy, our postsecondary institutions must be ready to support lifelong learning for diverse and nontraditional students.”
“The Industry-Valued Credentials List provides important information for students, parents and educators to use when considering future career pathways,” said Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington. “By earning industry-valued credentials, along with a high school diploma, students will have demonstrated to business and industry that they have the skills needed to launch their careers.”
The state Labor Department will use the list to direct occupational training dollars toward the most effective workforce and education programs. The list also serves as a consumer protection tool for individuals in search of high-quality occupational training, ensuring that the credential they are seeking is valid and recommended by knowledgeable employers, educators and workforce professionals.
“The State Employment and Training Commission is focused on maintaining and growing New Jersey’s highly-skilled workforce. The Industry-Valued Credentials List is an important tool for reaching this objective,” said SETC Chairman Dennis Bone. “By working with the business community and identifying the most in-demand skills, we’re ensuring that future education and training investments are focused on the areas of greatest economic impact.”
Industry-valued credentials must be:
- Valued – recognized by employers in leading industry sectors within New Jersey and beyond;
- Portable – reflecting skills that are valued by employers in different locations, or across multiple industries;
- Stackable – offering skills that increase career opportunities for employees and job seekers through advanced training and education; and
- Rewarding – likely to lead to higher wages, career advancement, and/or increased job security.
This initial list will be reviewed and updated quarterly by the state Credentials Review Board, a panel including staff from local One-Stop Career Centers and Workforce Development Boards as well as from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Education, Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the State Employment and Training Commission.
The Christie Administration remains committed to using data and employer input to focus the state’s training investments. In 2011, the state Department of Labor launched the Talent Networks, focusing on the industry sectors that employ more than two-thirds of New Jersey workers and pay more than two-thirds of wages earned annually. In April, Governor Chris Christie announced a $2.7 million investment to create Talent Development Centers at three New Jersey institutions of higher education to align workforce training and skills development with the needs of employers in the state’s key industries.
The full Industry-Valued Credentials List is available here.