Sep-23-16 Governor Christie Names Aaron Fichtner as Acting Commissioner of Labor
Trenton, NJ –Governor Chris Christie today announced the appointment of Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, adding that he will formally nominate Dr. Fichtner on Monday to succeed Commissioner Harold J. Wirths.
Dr. Fichtner has been a part of the Department since 2010, serving as Deputy Commissioner since 2012.
“The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has come a long way during the past six years, reinventing our reemployment efforts during the darkest days of the recession to focus getting jobseekers trained for positions in the Garden State’s emerging and most promising industry clusters. Aaron was there from the beginning, and he was integral to those successful reforms,” said Governor Christie. “Aaron remains a tireless and dedicated public servant, and I am confident he will continue to build on that legacy as he leads the Department.”
While Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Fichtner spearheaded the Department’s development of a strategic vision and direction for workforce and talent development in New Jersey and oversaw implementation of federal mandates. The Department made significant strides during his tenure in expanding services to jobseekers through partnerships with employers, community colleges, libraries, and community-based organizations and strengthened connections between unemployment insurance and reemployment services.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve under the leadership of Hal Wirths for the past six years,” said Dr. Fichtner. “I thank Governor Christie for this new opportunity in his administration and I look forward to continuing our efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce, to build pathways to economic opportunity and to provide critical services to employers and jobseekers.”
In addition to his work within the Department, Dr. Fichtner serves as Chair of the National Association of State Liaisons for Workforce Development Partnerships, the workforce development committee of the National Governors Association, and was appointed to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Information Advisory Council this past March. Previously, he served as chairman of the Labor Market Information Committee of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
A Lawrenceville resident, Dr. Fichtner earned a Ph.D. in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers University, a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in History from Vassar College. Prior to joining the Department of Labor, he was the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
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