About the Commissioner
Commissioner Wirths gained a broad array of leadership experience in the private sector as a business owner and one of the organizers of a new community bank. Wirths also was a government leader in Sussex County, where he served as a Freeholder for nearly a decade. For nearly 20 years, Wirths owned and managed two furniture stores. He also helped to establish Noble Community Bank, which today is part of Highlands State Bank, and he served on the Highlands Bank Board of Directors.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Wirths, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development launched an employer-focused approach as it reshaped the state’s labor development and training programs. He invited the involvement of business leaders, particularly those in the state’s major industry sectors, as the Commissioner redesigned the Department from an agency that merely provided services to the unemployed to an agency that works closely with the state’s Business Action Center and the Lt. Governor’s office to directly link job-seekers to the employers in industry sectors that will drive the state’s future economy.
Initiatives launched under Commissioner Wirth’s leadership include:
- New Jersey’s Talent Networks
- Debit Cards for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- New Anti-fraud Unit
The anti-fraud initiative was launched by Commissioner Wirths in his first year, and the program evolved into a multi-pronged attack on fraudsters that employed computer software and common sense business practices to protect the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The measures, most designed to prevent Unemployment Insurance benefits from being improperly paid out, are conservatively estimated to have saved taxpayers $115 million between March 2011 and May 2012.
As well as leading the Department, Commissioner Wirths participates in many other state endeavors. He chaired the New Jersey State Charitable Campaign for the 2010-2011season, and he continues to serve on various boards, including:
- New Jersey Economic Development Authority
- New Jersey State Ethics Commission
- New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission
- Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority
Commissioner Wirths lives in Wantage with his wife and two daughters.