NEW JERSEY – In an effort to improve the competitiveness of New Jersey manufacturers, legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Linda Greenstein that would establish a permanent new source of funding for the New Jersey Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), was approved by the Senate Thursday. The funding would be up to $1.5 million.
“State support is critical to maintain a vibrant manufacturing industry which is a vital sector of New Jersey’s economy,” Oroho (R-Morris/Sussex/Warren) said. “NJMEP helps businesses navigate in a growing, competitive global market, and their success has aided our state in job creation and growth. Their efforts throughout the pandemic has furthered stamped their reputation for providing critical support and meeting needs for both clients and their customer base.”
“As Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, I have learned the importance of retaining and expanding upon manufacturing jobs in New Jersey,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program has always been a significant piece in assisting manufacturers across the state. With a permanent source of funding, they will continue to be an effective economic driver and advocate for the manufacturing industry.”
Funding for this legislation would not come from the state budget. Instead, it would act as a successor to the Workforce Development Partnership Fund, which exists within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and is already funded. Any State level money received for an MEP is matched dollar for dollar at the federal level.
According to their website, the NJMEP is a private, nonprofit organization that improves the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance.
The bill, S-1957, was approved by the Senate with a vote of 33-0.