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NJ education bills that focus on trade careers advance | #education | #technology | #training | #hacking | #aihp

State lawmakers advanced bills that promote and create job opportunities for high school and college students in manufacturing and skill-based jobs, to address New Jersey’s acute workforce shortages.

With unanimous support, the Manufacturing in Higher Education Act moved through the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee on Thursday and headed to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee for its approval.

The bill garnered the state Senate’s approval in June.

Committee Chairwoman, Mila Jasey, D-Essex, Morris, called it a “very popular bill” as she read out the names of organizations representing business interests and the state’s county colleges in attendance to show their support.

Several of the state’s chambers of commerce, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges spoke in favor of it.

“This is a logical transition to an industry that has 10 to 11,000 companies in New Jersey, 340,000ish employees right now,” said John Kennedy, who heads the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. The share of the manufacturing workforce below the age of 35 fell from 27% to 23% over the last 20 years, according to the US census, said a spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce for South Jersey.

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