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Commissioner of NJ Labor & Workforce Development Kicks Off 2013 ManufactureNJ Week at NJIT on Oct. 4

The Honorable Harold J. Wirths, commissioner of the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJLWD), will recognize the important contributions of advanced manufacturing to the Garden State economy as he kicks off ManufactureNJ Week beginning tomorrow, October 4 at NJIT’s Campus Center in Newark from 9:30 a.m. to noon.  Governor Chris Christie issued a proclamation declaring October 7-11, 2013 as ManufactureNJ Week and stating that advanced manufacturing is one of the seven priority industry clusters in the state.

NJIT President Joel S. Bloom, who will welcome the participants to campus, states, “NJIT will continue to play a significant role in reinvigorating advanced manufacturing in our region. We have the knowledge and expertise to prepare and/or partner with industry as well as other academic institutions to prepare the workforce through education and training, and to support the R&D and product development processes. With the support of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, NJIT is leading the Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network and helping New Jersey companies find the employees needed to meet current demand and to continue to grow their businesses.”

The kickoff and weeklong events are made possible by NJIT through a grant from NJLWD.  Partners contributing to and participating in the events include the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), among many others, as well as leading NJ manufacturers and educational institutions.

The kickoff event will feature a panel discussion.  These leaders will focus on the state of advanced manufacturing in NJ including: the needs of NJ manufacturers;  the current skill set required for employment; the progress made in training individuals for careers in manufacturing; and the access/availability of education for this sector.

The panelists include:

• Dr. Donald H. Sebastian, NJIT Senior Vice President of Research & Development (Moderator)

• Michele E. Boronkas, Executive Director, NJ State Employment & Training Commission

• Dr. David Cohen, Founder & Chief Science Officer, Cherry Med Inc.

• Cheryl O’Connor, Executive Director, LibraryLink NJ

• Michael Powell, Executive Director, Passaic County Community College & Prime Contact, U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT Grant

• Dr. Gale Tenen Spak, NJIT Associate Vice President for Continuing & Distance Education

• Melanie L. Willoughby, Senior Vice President, NJBIA

The Manufacture New Jersey Road Show Video will also be debuted at the kickoff event.  This video is targeted to middle school students and explains the possibilities of careers in manufacturing. Moreover, the kickoff event begins a series of round-table talks, tours, and demonstrations to be held around the state beginning on Monday, October 7.  Click here for a complete list of statewide events.

In 2012, manufacturing in New Jersey accounted for more than 243,000 jobs and contributed over $38 billion to New Jersey’s gross domestic product.  Advanced manufacturing is one of seven priority clusters in the state and more than 132,600 people were employed in this industry sector, representing approximately 54 percent of all manufacturing jobs and paying a total of more than $12.2 billion in wages (roughly 6.6 percent of the total state wages).

Manufacturing is one of the seven New Jersey Talent Networks, each focusing on the specific needs of an industry, including:  financial services; healthcare; transportation, logistics and distribution; life sciences; hospitality and retail; and technology and entrepreneurship.  The purpose of the NJ Talent Networks is to connect employers, job seekers, the state’s One Stop Career Centers, and educational institutions to achieve the common goal of helping current underemployed or unemployed workers develop relevant skills that lead to job opportunities as well as helping employers find qualified employees to fill available positions now and in the future.

To view the kickoff agenda, click here.  To register for the kickoff event, send an email to ManufactureNJ12@gmail.com.

To learn more about this week’s events contact Ray Vaccari, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network at raymond.vaccari@njit.edu.