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PRESS RELEASE
Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJLWD Commissioner's Message Is Clear - The Manufacturing Industry Is Technology Driven and Growing in New Jersey

Commissioner Wirths kicked off ManufactureNJ Week at NJIT stating that the 243,000 jobs created through manufacturing confirms the value of this industry to the Garden State.  He added that “we collectively” need to continue to raise the awareness of the numerous opportunities in this industry and change the public’s perception of manufacturing.  Today’s 17,000 New Jersey manufacturers are technology driven and meet the needs of niche markets ranging from hat makers to medical devices.

Commissioner Wirths also presented to NJIT President Joel S. Bloom, and to the principals of ManufactureNJ Talent Network Gale Tenen Spak and Ray Vaccari, a proclamation from Governor Chris Christie declaring October 7-11, 2013 as ManufactureNJ Week that stated advanced manufacturing is one of the seven priority industry clusters in the state.

President Bloom added, “Manufacturing is in the DNA of our university and we are committed to collaborate with all those involved to grow and raise the visibility of this key industry. 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 Manufacture New Jersey Road Show Video debuted as well.  This video is targeted to middle school students and explains the career possibilities 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.  For a complete list of the week-long events, click here.

The featured panelist discussion focused on the state of advanced manufacturing in NJ.  These industry leaders discussed 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

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 currently 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.

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

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.