Jul-20-11 Lt. Governor Guadagno and Labor Commissioner Wirths Launch Statewide “Talent Networks” Initiative at Geodis Wilson Inc. In Edison
New Initiative Continues Christie Administration's Commitment to Creating Jersey Jobs in State's Fast Growing Sectors
“These Talent Networks are an extension of the Christie Administration's commitment to creating Jersey jobs in our State’s fastest growing sectors, while being more responsive to businesses as we work to improve our economy,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “We are taking aggressive steps to partner with business to grow and strengthen our workforce. These Talent Networks will insure our workforce has the skills and training needed to find careers in fields like life sciences, financial services, and health care.”
The goal of the “Talent Networks” is to connect businesses in six key industries with educational institutions, workforce development agencies, government and community groups to identify the skills and training Garden State employers require in prospective employees to remain competitive in the global market. By being trained in those skills, students and job-seekers will be able to find long-term jobs in New Jersey and help to boost the state’s economy.
The six “Talent Networks” and the organizations contracted to organize them include:
Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution (Rutgers University): Warehousing, trucking, wholesale trade companies, and the movement of goods
Life Sciences (BioNJ): Biotechnology, life-science firms, developing medical devices. High paying, talent-driven jobs that require specialized skills
Advanced Manufacturing (New Jersey Institute of Technology): The smaller, leaner, high-tech, specialty manufacturers
Financial Services (Newark Alliance): From banks and mortgage firms to CPAs and programming operations
Health Care (Rutgers University): Growing even at the height of the recession. Wide range of jobs, from aides to people collecting data
Technology and Entrepreneurship (New Jersey Technology Council): Wide assortment of businesses, from start-up companies to telecommunication firms
Today, according to data compiled by the state Department of Labor, more than half of New Jersey workers are employed in these six industries and these six industries pay more than two-thirds of all wages paid within the state.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is using $2.31 million in Workforce Investment Act funds to establish the “Talent Networks.” Each “Talent Network” is being awarded $385,000 for the first year of the grant with a possible renewal for the second year, contingent on successful performance and on the availability of funds.
“The Department knows where the job demand is and where it will be. We are building each Talent Network around one of six key industries identified by our analysts as sectors where job growth is the most promising. These are the key industries that are driving our economy. We have to be strategic with our resources by training and educating our workforce for the jobs in these industries that exist now and will exist in the future. I want to thank each of the six organizations for their willingness to partner with us as we work to create jobs and grow our economy,” said Commissioner Wirths.
Commissioner Wirths and Lt. Governor Guadagno announced the Talent Networks at Geodis Wilson Inc., a freight forwarder company specializing in international and domestic cargo transportation. It falls into the “Transportation, Distribution and Logistics” category, and the new “Talent Network” already has been working with the company to resolve its business and employment needs. The company has 6,400 employees in more than 50 countries, with 17 offices in the United States. The firm employs 112 people in New Jersey between its national headquarters in nearby Iselin and its Edison branch, which is already the company’s largest branch operation and is in the middle of an expansion project.
“We appreciate the initiatives around the Talent Networks that the State of New Jersey is launching. As our USA headquarters is based in the state, as well as one of our largest branches right here in Edison, we have a vested interest in making sure the skills necessary for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs in our growing and global industry are being taught right here in New Jersey,” said Nancy Costo, Geodis Wilson’s Chief Operating Officer.
For more information about Talent Networks, go to: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lwdhome/content/TalentNetworkNJ_Index.html
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno announces the six "Talent Networks" and the agencies leading each network during a news conference held on the grounds of Geodis Wilson, Inc. in Edison on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. These six “Talent Networks” will work with New Jersey’s most promising industries to identify the skills needed by job-seekers to achieve long-lasting careers. Seated to the left of Lt. Governor Guadagno is Dr. Aaron Fichtner, LWD Assistant Commissioner of Labor Planning and Analysis; Vicki Gaddy (obscured) Director BioNJ Talent Network; and Christina Herzog, Research Project Director, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Seated to the right of Lt. Governor Guadagno is Nancy Costo, Chief Operating Officer of Geodis Wilson; Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Maxine Ballen, President and CEO of New Jersey Technology Council; Professor David Finegold, Dean of the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (hat).
The six "Talent Networks" and leading agencies are: Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution (Rutgers University); Life Sciences (BioNJ); Advanced Manufacturing (New Jersey Institute of Technology); Financial Services (Newark Alliance); Health Care (Rutgers University); and Technology and Entrepreneurship (New Jersey Technology Council).