“Through policy, oversight, and planning The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board ensures that workforce training and education are responsive to and meet the needs of employers and job seekers.”
The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board is a public-private partnership responsible for oversight of the workforce development and delivery system in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, New Jersey.
Established under federal law, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board undertakes policy and planning to ensure the workforce system is meeting the needs of employers and job seekers. The board employs staff to work collaboratively with partners in addressing the short- and long-term workforce needs of local employers.
GRWDB members are appointed by the Boards of County Commissioners of Hunterdon and Somerset counties, New Jersey and are directly responsible for allocating approximately $3,900,000 in federal and state workforce investment grants.
The GRWDB has established the following strategic priorities that guide the daily work and policy-making of the organization:
- Focus on sector strategies consistent with the New Jersey State (Economic Development) Plan and the New Jersey Combined (workforce development) Plan.
- Build strategic alliances with partners, including those in the economic development arena.
- Coordinate outreach to the business community among the various entities currently engaged in contacting businesses.
- Focus our strategies on career paths versus simply employment.
- Recognize the role that transportation plays in employment.
- Develop additional revenue streams and be innovative about finances.
- Develop, host and promote career-related programming and resources as appropriate for job seekers and businesses.
The GRWDB envisions a flexible, seamless and robust workforce training and education system where:
- Continuous improvement is embraced throughout the workforce training and education system.
- Workforce training and education resources meet the present and future talent needs of employers.
- Customer service and performance outcome expectations are exceeded.
- There is increased engagement of employers in workforce development planning and policy implementation.
- There are expanded opportunities and outcomes for employers and job seekers through increased market penetration with a focus on serving the needs of local businesses.
- There are expanded opportunities and outcomes for youth populations with a focus on sustainable wage career employment.
The Board works closely with employers large and small, chambers of commerce, industry groups, economic development organizations, training and education institutions, social service providers, elected officials, community organizations and community members, and many other key stakeholders. The Board supports economic growth and workforce development by analyzing local workforce conditions, overseeing the use of federal funds in the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Centers, and setting workforce investment policy.
Local policies, based on federal law and state guidelines, are key to realizing the GRWDB mission and vision. These policies set the direction for staff and the system partners tasked with providing workforce services to job seekers and employers in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. Local policies are developed by GRWDB staff, reviewed by GRWDB Committees as appropriate and then reviewed and approved by the full Board of the GRWDB.
Local policies approved by the Board include:
- AJC /One-Stop Certification, including annual accessibility assessment (2022)
- Conflict of Interest (2022)
- Incumbent Worker Training (2022)
- Individual Training Accounts (including Youth Co-enrollment) Policy (2022)
- On-the-Job Training (2022)
- One-Stop Career Center Complaint Procedure (2022)
- Pay-for-Performance Contract Strategy (2022)
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (2022)
- Priority of Service (2022)
- Selective Service Requirements (2019)
- Supportive Services (2020)
- Work-Based Training (2022)
- Youth Clients Follow Up Policy (2021)
- Youth Requires Additional Assistance (2022)
- Youth Work Experience and Incentive Payments (2022)
Local Area and Regional Planning
Every four years, New Jersey’s 17 local workforce boards are required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to write a Local Plan to help each board better serve residents and businesses in each area. The Local Plans outline workforce services and programs available to employers and job seekers and ways to collaborate and improve the system. Simultaneously the boards collaborate on three regional plans — focusing on the north, central and south sections of the state. The plans are developed based on data trends and evaluations of existing services, along with input received from the public discussion.
The 2023-2026 Local Plan, which can be viewed and downloaded here, was developed following public meetings that began at the end of 2023. The Local Plan uses state and local data sets, state guidance documents, and input from different stakeholders and board and committee members to map out the local workforce strategies and goals through 2026.
The 2023-2026 Regional Plan, which can be viewed and downloaded here, was developed by a consultant for North Jersey Partners working with the local Workforce Development Board directors from seven northern New Jersey local workforce areas during a series of meetings in February and March. The draft regional Plan uses regional data sets, state guidance documents and input from the directors and stakeholders to map out regional workforce plans through 2026.
To provide comment on either plan, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact GRWDB Director Paul Grzella at 908-541-5790.
Following the completion and public posting on April 5 of the draft Local and Regional Plans, a 30-day comment period was open to all community members. That period ended on May 5, 2023. The Somerset County Board of County Commissioners on May 9, 2023, approved submission of the plan to the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission for review.
The Local Area’s previous plans can be viewed here:
The draft Local Plan includes feedback from a Local Plan public meeting conducted on Dec. 6 in Somerville. The meeting drew more than 50 individuals, who attended in person and remotely. Participants talked about existing services, reviewed data about different programs’ participants and outcomes, and suggested ways to expand outreach and focus. (The information deck of the Dec. 6 meeting can be accessed here.)
To receive more input and expand community involvement, the GRWDB developed three surveys for different groups in the two counties. These include:
- Individuals looking for work or who are already in the workforce – go here to complete the survey
- Employers looking to hire, with a focus on skills these employers need right now – go here to complete the survey
- Social-service agencies assisting individuals with a variety of issues, including career development – go here to complete the survey.
While feedback was helpful for the Local Plan work, the GRWDB is keeping the surveys open and will check on responses monthly to keep current with new feedback and trends which may impact the direction of policies and strategy for the local workforce area.
Cost Allocation Plan
The Board is required to detail how the funds are allocated based on time studies and other factors to ensure the proper spending of grant monies. Click here to view the GRWDB’s most recent Cost Allocation Plan.
The GRWDB uses a variety of social media platforms and traditional media outlets to ensure that local workforce development system stakeholders and all interested parties have access to accurate and useful information for informed discussion and decision-making. The GRWDB’s social media policy has three goals:
- To facilitate an alternate means of communication with core constituents
- To create visibility and raise awareness for the GRWDB and its key partners
- To showcase unique career opportunities and trends in economic and workforce policy
To view the GRWDB Social Media Policy, click here.
In addition, to better communicate all the services, resources, and opportunities the public workforce development and delivery system offers within Hunterdon and Somerset counties, NJ, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board launched a quarterly newsletter in 2019 to provide snapshots of some of the season’s highlights and milestones.
View the issues below; to sign up for future newsletters, click on the “Stay Informed” link under the “Events” tab.
- GRWDB Spring/Summer Newsletter 2023
- GRWDB Summer/Fall Newsletter 2022
- GRWDB Spring Newsletter 2022
- GRWDB Autumn Newsletter 2021
- GRWDB Spring Newsletter 2021
- GRWDB Autumn Newsletter 2020
- GRWDB Summer Newsletter 2020
- GRWDB Winter Newsletter 2020
- GRWDB Autumn Newsletter 2019
- GRWDB Summer Newsletter 2019
And know about the latest workforce-related events, programs and recruitments in Hunterdon and Somerset counties by bookmarking the calendar page of www.thegrwdb.org.
In addition, employers and jobseekers are encouraged to text OneStop to 565-12 to get a text alert every Monday about the upcoming week’s workforce-related activities.