State Employment and Training Commission names new executive director

TRENTON – The New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission (SETC) said today that Michele E. Horst of  Bound Brook will become the commission’s new executive director on Monday.

“I am excited about this new opportunity,” Horst said in a statement. “New Jersey is at a crossroads in its economic growth and we must ensure that workforce development is a key component in our economic development strategy so that New Jersey will remain a viable source of intellectual capital for current and future employers.”

The SETC serves as the state’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB), which federal law required every state to establish in 1998. The SETC works closely with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) and 17 local WIBs located throughout the state by administering programs designed to help workers, students and those seeking employment gain knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the business community and state economic development efforts.

Since 2009, Horst has served as the director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Investment Board and the state’s One-Stop Career Center in Somerset County.

The SETC launched a national search for a new executive director and received more than 70 resumes. Horst was the unanimous choice of a five-member selection committee, which included Dennis M. Bone, chairman of the SETC and President of Verizon New Jersey; and Richard E. Constable III, deputy commissioner of the LWD.

“We are delighted to welcome Michele on board,” Bone said in a statement. “She is familiar with the SETCs mission and has already proven her ability and skills as the director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Investment Board. One of the reasons we selected Michele is her vision for the future of workforce development in New Jersey.”

As executive director, Horst will lead in developing new and innovative workforce investment policies that will provide New Jersey with the skilled and highly productive workforce required by emerging and growing businesses. As part of those efforts, Horst will convene business leaders to assure that workforce policies guiding the state and local workforce investment system address the needs of employers and effectively deliver these programs.

The SETC helps direct a network of local WIBs, which are regional agencies created under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Each WIB, with membership that includes local businesses, helps plan and direct federal, state and local investment in workforce development programs.

WIBs work with the state’s 34 One-Stop Career Centers, where job seekers can get employment information and learn about career training opportunities, and where employers can come for information on the labor market, job training programs, business incentives and to hire new employees.

New Jersey’s SETC members include representatives from business, labor, private citizens, community-based organizations and various elected officials. Also on the SETC are the commissioners of the state Departments of Labor and Workforce Development, Community Affairs, Education and Human Services, as well as the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education.