Local, county and state workforce partners in New Jersey are constantly collaborating to  develop and promote new programs to support employers and understand the current and future needs  of businesses.

New Jersey’s newly announced Return & Earn Program offered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce development is designed to help businesses fill key jobs important to the growth of the state’s economy. Employers can receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new employees. These subsidies will help cover wages and training for new employees for up to their first six months on the job. The program also offers a $500 incentive to new hires. Employers can go here, to express interest in this program and receive application information as it becomes available.

To understand the skills needs of employers In Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board launched an on-going survey that aims to help the board understand how it can direct local resources.

The brief survey focusing on hiring and job skills needs can be found here and can be answered by all types of employers of all different sizes.

Respondents can go to the link or go to the www.thegrwdb.org and click on the Resources / Employers tab to accesses the survey, which should take about five minutes to complete. Survey results will be shared on an ongoing basis with the GRWDB’s board and committees as existing programs are reviewed and new projects are considered in the coming weeks and months.

Partners of the GRWDB offer a variety of virtual services to employers, including recruitment assistance, job matching and job fairs, apprenticeship program, on-the-job training, layoff aversion and incumbent worker training. Visit www.nj.gov/labor/employer-services/business/.

An example of this ongoing collaborative work is a webinar on COVID-19 Workplace Health/Safety and Employee Benefits. The webinar feature members of the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, and was co-presented by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, the Somerset County Business Partnership and the GRWDB. The presentation can be viewed here; to watch the recording, click here. More information on this topic can also be found in this employer toolkit on myleavebenefits.nj.gov.

New Jersey COVID-19 Resources

The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board is continuing to update its business and community partners as information is provided by the New Jersey Department of Labor and other state and federal agencies.

The state’s Cov-19 Information Hub page links to a vast amount of information and resources, including the Business.NJ.gov team’s page for Coronavirus Information for New Jersey Businesses.  The Business Support Eligibility Wizard on the page is a good place to start exploring different programs and options.

The home page of Business.NJ.gov links users to a host of resources that is a virtual one-stop for the information needed to do business in New Jersey. The site has a live chat feature, which is staffed by the business experts from the New Jersey Business Action Center. The site has information for business start-ups, business expansions and a library of content and FAQs to aid across all types of operations.

To publicize job openings, employers are invited to visit the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Employer Access page, utilizing the National Labor Exchange (NLx). Employers can use this site post jobs easily, quickly and at no cost.

In addition, the New Jersey Department of Labor also has created an employer resource page

Pertinent information from national resources also may be found at https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus and on this WorkforceGPS site.

Additional information about related COVID-recovery programs can be found at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has suite of programs designed to support businesses and workers. Read more here on the NJEDA website.

New Jersey workers and employers with questions about eligibility for benefits should view these NJ-focused charts in English and Spanish or visit the US Department of Labor Employee Resource Guide.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association has developer multiple resources to assist the state’s employers. Go to https://njbia.org/recovery/, to learn more.

A Business Resource Page created by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and Hunterdon Economic Development may be found here. A resource page from goHunterdon with additional resources can be found here.

Information from the Somerset County Business Partnership can be found here. Transportation information about Somerset County can be found here, from RideWise.

Coronavirus-related information for workers and job seekers is available on the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board‘s website, on the Resources tab “Job Seekers.” This includes SkillUp Greater Raritan, a vast online learning portal available for free to all residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties. A link is also under the Resources tab of the website. Businesses in Hunterdon and Somerset counties also may use the platform for employee training needs. Webinars introducing new users to this platform are conducted monthly; details can be found on our site’s calendar tab. More information is available here.

Other resources, services from GRWDB system national, state and local partners

The GRWDB works to connects businesses with resources, services, and incentives to meet all types of business needs — all at no cost to you! We understand the needs of each business are unique and we seek to provide you with a customized level of service. Contact our Staff for a confidential discussion.

System services are highlighted in a video produced in conjunction with the Somerset County Public Information Office. Go here to hear about the system’s services for employers.

GRWDB staff also have developed an employer-focused presentation about its services, available for all interested organizations and groups. Click here to listen and view a presentation given during a past Somerset County Business Partnership’s Fall BizFest & Wellness Expo.

The GRWDB aims to not only help fulfill immediate employer needs, but to develop a working relationship to ensure all needs are being met in the future through the effective allocation of workforce investments. We work to understand an employer’s needs, and then use our knowledge of the programs and services available to locate the appropriate opportunities, and connect the employer with the appropriate system partners.

Key system partners are the state Business Services Representatives, who are focused on the needs of employers. They connect employers to different state and regional resources, from special job-funding opportunities to a Job Match Project, virtual information sessions and much more. Somerset County employers can contact Amanda Modale at Amanda.Modale@dol.nj.gov. Hunterdon County employers can contact Jessica Johannesen at Jessica.Johannesen@dol.nj.gov.

New Jersey also has Business Service Representatives focusing on employers interested in working with Veterans. To learn more, contact Mark Ortega, the Veterans Business Services Representative for Northwest NJ, at mark.ortega@dol.nj.gov. The HIREVets.gov program also recognizes employers who hire veterans. Another resource is Silent Professionals, which hosts a nationwide job board that employers can  use to hire veterans.

Following are some additional employer-focused services available from these team members and other national, state and local partners.

usnlx.com – On the National Labor Exchange (NLx), local employers can post their job opportunities for no cost, and be linked to county State Business Representatives for further services.

The New Jersey Training Opportunities website (NJTOPPS) is home to New Jersey’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) and Consumer Report Card (CRC). The ETPL is a comprehensive listing of all schools and organizations offering occupational education and job training programs that are eligible to receive publicly funded tuition assistance. If your business is interested in applying to be on the ETPL, use this link to download the application packet.

O-Net Online – Research careers and industries on this site, which has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by workforce and human resources professionals, job seekers, researchers, and more.

Bureau of Labor & Statistics and the Occupational Outlook Handbook

The U.S. Census Bureau offers a diverse set of easy-to-use tools that can help businesses in strategic decision-making procedures. These include Census Business Builder and data.census.gov where users can explore a range of census data.

The Competency Model Clearinghouse is a Web site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. A competency model is a collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance in a defined work setting. A model provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do – the knowledge, skills, and abilities – to perform well in a specific job, occupation, or industry.

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship offers details on how employers can use apprenticeship to build their workforce, either through new workers or the upskilling of existing employees. Related to that, here is the most recent list of apprenticeable occupations.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also uses the Industry Partnerships model as a vehicle for mobilizing business leaders from specific regions to collaborate with public partners in resolving workforce, economic and education challenges impacting New Jersey industries. To learn more, go to industrypartnerships.nj.gov.

Following are links to information on different NJDOL programs for employers:

Apprenticeships Fast Facts

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Employer Partnership OJT Grant

Federal Bonding Program for Employers

Skills Partnership Program Training Grants

STEM Career Accelerator Program

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program

Following is information on additional programs employers will find helpful:

Libraries to Business (L2B) is a group consisting of libraries and affiliates working to help the business community and job seekers get connected to local resources.  Affiliates include chambers of commerce, SCORE, and the NJ Business Action Center.  The organization’s calendar lists ongoing career-related information, and the site links users to Data Axle Reference Solutions, a Jobs and Career Accelerator, the Small Business Reference Center, and a Regional Business News database.

The New Jersey Small Business Development Center, located in Raritan Valley Community College’s Workforce Training Center on the Branchburg campus, assists business owners and entrepreneurs to succeed. The center’s team members offer free counseling and continuing education courses, and special events. It also has helped small businesses achieve Small Business (SBE), Minority (MBE) and/or Woman-Owned Business (WBE) Certification.

Another helpful resource is the Career Connection page from the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.

Our Business Resource Team