SENATE, No. 3966

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 16, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes NJ Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Life Long Skills Commission in the Department of State.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act establishing the New Jersey Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Life Long Skills Commission in the Department of State and supplementing P.L.1948, c.445 (C.52:16A-1 et seq.).

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† †1.†† a.† There is established, in the Department of State, the New Jersey Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Life Long Skills (NJSKILLS) Commission.† The purpose of the commission shall be to evaluate changes in labor market needs in the State, and advise State agencies of those developments that are pertinent to the agenciesí responsibilities.† The commission shall consist of 21 members as follows:

†††† (1)†† the Commissioner of Education, the Secretary of Higher Education, and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Chief Executive Officers of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Schools Development Authority or their designees; and

†††† (2)†† 14 members appointed by the Governor, including:

†††† (a)†† one representative each of a four-year public institution of higher education, a four-year independent institution of higher education, and a county college;

†††† (b)†† six representatives of school districts with expertise in curriculum development, including two urban, two rural, and two suburban school districts, all of which have below average graduation rates and are in municipalities with above average unemployment rates;

†††† (c)†† one individual with expertise in labor economics;

†††† (d)†† one representative from a trade association;

†††† (e)†† one representative from the business community;

†††† (e)†† one representative of the New Jersey Council of Vocational Technical Schools; and

†††† (f)†† one representative of a group with above average rates of unemployment and underemployment; and

†††† (3)†† two individuals with experience in education and economic development, one appointed by the President of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly.

†††† †b.†† Appointments to the commission shall be made within 30 days after the effective date of this act.† The terms of the members appointed by the Governor shall be for five years or until their successors are appointed and qualified, except that of the initial appointments made to the commission, five shall serve for a term of three years, five shall serve for a term of four years, and four shall serve for a term of five years. †The terms of the members appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly shall be for five years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. †Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment but only for the balance of the unexpired term.

†††† Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the commission within the limits of funds made available to the commission for its purposes.

†††† c.†††† The Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority shall serve as the chairperson of the board.

 

†††† 2.††† The responsibilities of the commission shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

†††† a.†††† to produce an annual report providing data on trends in employment, including which occupations and which economic sectors have, or are expected to have, growing demand for qualified workers in the State, the associated needs for training and education to provide the numbers of qualified workers required in each of those occupations and sectors, the capacity of institutions of higher education and other post-secondary occupational training programs, including apprenticeship programs, to meet those needs, with recommendations regarding any needed allocation of resources needed to ensure that those needs are met;

†††† b.††† to provide, in its annual report, recommendations to the State Board of Education during the review and update of the core curriculum content standards conducted by the State board pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-46);

†††† c.†††† to advise the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the State Employment and Training Commission of occupational areas in which there are unmet training needs;

†††† d.††† to assist institutions of higher education in aligning course offerings and content with labor market needs; and

†††† e.†††† to oversee, and make recommendations in its annual report regarding, the activities of the Center for Occupational Employment Information in carrying out its responsibilities as required by section 27 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-86), including the compilation of information from approved training providers as required pursuant to subsection f. of that section to produce a consumer report card on each qualified school or other approved training provider, and the implementation and enforcement, pursuant to subsection g. of that section, of a process to revoke or suspend from the State Eligible Training Provider List any of the schools or providers which fail to submit the required data.

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes, in the Department of State, the New Jersey Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Life Long Skills (NJSKILLS) Commission.† The purpose of the commission will be to evaluate changes in labor market needs in the State and to advise State agencies of developments that are pertinent to the agenciesí responsibilities.

†††† The commission will include 21 members, including the Commissioner of Education, the Secretary of Higher Education, and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Chief Executive Officers of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Schools Development Authority or their designee, two individuals with experience in education and economic development, one appointed by the President of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, and 14 members appointed by the Governor, including:

†††† 1.††† one representative each of a four-year public institution of higher education, a four-year independent institution of higher education, and a county college;

†††† 2.††† six representatives of school districts with expertise in curriculum development, including two urban, two rural, and two suburban school districts, all of which have below average graduation rates and are in municipalities with above average unemployment rates;

†††† 3.††† one individual with expertise in labor economics;

†††† 4.††† one representative from trade associations;

†††† 5.††† one representative from the business community;

†††† 6.††† one representative of the New Jersey Council of Vocational Technical Schools; and

†††† 7.††† one representative of a group with above average rates of unemployment and underemployment.

†††† The appointed members would each serve a term of five years, except five of the initial appointees will serve a three-year term, five will serve a four-year term, and four will serve a five-year term.† The Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is to serve as the chairperson of the board.

†††† The commission would produce an annual report providing data on trends in employment and make recommendations to the appropriate State agencies on matters including: the update and review of the core curriculum content standards; occupational areas in which there are unmet training needs; the alignment of higher education course offerings and content to labor market needs.† The commission would also oversee, and make recommendations in its annual report regarding, the activities of the Center for Occupational Employment Information in carrying out its responsibilities, including the compilation of information from approved training providers as required to produce a consumer report card on each qualified school or other approved training provider, and the implementation and enforcement of a process to revoke or suspend from the State Eligible Training Provider List any of the schools or providers which fail to submit the required data.