NJIT Receives New Jersey State Funds to Establish Construction and Utilities Talent Development Center and Talent Networks
Funds Awarded by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD)
NJIT announces three state grants totaling $1.725 million to establish a Talent Development Center (TDC) and Talent Network (TN) for the construction and utilities industry, as well as the renewal of its Technology Talent Network which now will be titled the Technology Advisory Network to reflect a new focus.
NJIT will expand training and employment opportunities in the construction and utilities sector with a newly established TDC with the $1.2 million in state funding from the NJLWD. Designed to create new career pathways for prospective workers, NJIT will develop essential partnerships between businesses and high schools, colleges and universities to integrate classroom and work-based learning.
In addition, the Construction and Utilities TDC will provide industry-valued education and training for dislocated, disadvantaged and currently employed workers to develop skills and key credentials leading to employment and career advancement.
“The goal of this TDC is to develop career pathways, build stronger employer-driven partnerships and improve the alignment of education and training with the needs of the construction and utilities industry,” explains Dr. Gale T. Spak, associate vice president of continuing professional education at NJIT and principal investigator for all three grant programs.
NJIT was also awarded $275,000 to create a new Construction and Utilities Talent Network to meet the needs of businesses in the state and ensure current and future industry workers are equipped with the skills and education critical for success. This Talent Network will focus on developing high-quality, employer-driven partnerships within the construction and utilities industry in order to identify common skill gaps and workforce needs, facilitate the development of a workforce plan, and create a strategy for building and sustaining a committed partnership with employers, educational institutions and other key stakeholders.
Lastly, NJIT will receive $250,000 for hosting the Technology Advisory Network, evolving from the Technology Talent Network and serving as the principal advisor and consultant to all New Jersey Talent Networks.
“Companies in all industries depend upon keeping up to date with the latest technology. It’s critical to their very infrastructure,” explains Spak. “This grant will allow us to dedicate two full-time employees to assisting all the Talent Networks, expanding upon the relationships it has developed over the years.”
NJIT is one of six higher-education institutions in New Jersey selected to oversee a Talent Development Center as part of the “65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future” initiative focused on increasing the number of New Jersey citizens who have earned an industry-valued post-secondary credential or degree from 50 to 65 percent by 2025 and developed by NJLWD, the NJ Department of Education and the NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.
Other industries targeted for Talent Development Centers include retail-hospitality-tourism; life sciences; healthcare; transportation-logistics-distribution; advanced manufacturing; food manufacturing and financial services.