2009 New Jersey Code
34:15D-2. Findings, declarations
TITLE 34 - LABOR AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION
34:15D-2 - Findings, declarations
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. New Jersey, facing an intensely competitive world economy, must choose whether to compete against countries that have low-paid, unskilled workforces or to compete for the high-productivity jobs that can provide a foundation for an economic leadership position for New Jersey and high living standards for all of its citizens;
b. If New Jersey is going to take the high-skill, high-productivity, high-wage path, it will need a genuine partnership between business, labor and government to invest in the first-rate training and education for front-line workers needed to stimulate greater worker involvement in promoting innovation, quality control and responsiveness to rapid technological advances in production;
c. Current private sector efforts to train and educate employees in New Jersey are extensive, involving the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, but the overwhelming majority of those expenditures goes to the minority of employees, usually placed in management, scientific and technical positions, who already have college degrees;
d. The inadequate emphasis on training and ongoing education for the broad majority of front-line workers is further compounded by the fact that 90% of job training expenditures by American businesses is spent by only one half of one percent of American businesses;
e. Although current training programs for the long-term jobless and other disadvantaged individuals have increased skilled labor resources in the State, and although federal funding for those programs is inadequate to cover more than a small minority of those eligible, there is an even greater need for new public resources to upgrade the skills of vastly larger numbers of currently employed, or recently displaced, mainstream front-line workers;
f. Proposals have been made by the administrations of both Governor Kean and Governor Florio to redirect existing payroll taxes to fund a broader and more in-depth program of worker training and access to lifelong education, a method successfully employed by other States and by leading international industrial competitors, such as Germany, Japan and France;
g. The potential contribution of business-labor cooperation to create a highly productive workforce has also been demonstrated, domestically and overseas, by the effectiveness of apprenticeship programs in certain skilled trades;
h. It is therefore an appropriate public purpose to sustain the current level of support of training programs for disadvantaged individuals and to establish, with the active participation of New Jersey's business and labor communities, a broader program of expanded, high-quality training and education, including needed basic skills education, for currently employed and recently displaced front-line workers, funded by the redirection of a portion of existing payroll taxes.
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