U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is embarking on a job tour across all 21 counties in New Jersey and introduced legislation expanding job-training programs that connect community colleges and local businesses
The Better Education and Skills Training for America’s Work Force Act aims to fill a part of the estimated 5.7 million open job positions in the United States, he said. It would create a $1 billion tax-credit program to encourage partnerships between colleges and businesses, and it would give businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers tax credits of up to $4,000 to cover their tuition costs at community colleges.
Many of the best paid job opportunities require specialized training, which is where local colleges come in, Menendez said.
“I want to think about, in the 21st Century, how do we do everything from education to training,” he said at a shared workspace in Kearny Point on Monday.
“I often hear from employers throughout New Jersey who have jobs to fill but are struggling to hire workers with the right skillset,” he said. “My legislation will encourage more businesses and colleges to create win-win partnerships that equip students and unemployed workers with in-demand skills and provide area employers with a strong talent pipeline.”
The embattled senator, facing trial in September, will be holding a news conference Tuesday with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and several advocates opposed to the Republican plan to rewrite key parts of the Affordable Care Act.