NEW JERSEY – Governor Murphy Thursday announced the release of the New Jersey State Future of Work Task Force’s Roadmap and Recommendations.
The Task Force’s 19 core recommendations underscore the State’s need to invest in policies, platforms, and programs that respond to both the challenges and the opportunities technology creates to foster worker rights, worker safety, and lifelong learning. Informed by a first-of-its-kind online engagement with New Jersey workers, many of the Roadmap’s recommendations have already been implemented.
“In a rapidly changing economy directly impacted by the development of new technology, inequality, and the challenges of the climate crisis, we have an important and urgent role to play in equipping our workers to be successful,” Murphy said. “We must act now to address these challenges and take steps to strengthen workers’ rights, including the right to organize; protect worker health and safety; and expand opportunities for lifelong learning. I want to thank the Task Force and its Chair, Beth Noveck, for their dedication and hard work in service of New Jersey’s workforce.”
“From the outset of the Task Force, we aspired to assemble and mobilize a diverse body of dedicated experts – not just to advise, but to act,” said Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer, and Chair of the Task Force. “The Task Force has not just formulated recommendations, but has taken actions to measurably improve opportunities for workers in New Jersey.”
The Roadmap and Recommendations highlight policies and initiatives that the Task Force has advanced since its formation, including the nation’s first $10 million lifelong learning account pilot for low-wage workers, the creation of the nation’s first Future of Work Accelerator to incubate 20 innovative technologies or services designed to help workers in New Jersey and nationally, and the launch of the country’s first training transparency platform designed to help workers make more informed decisions about their lifelong learning.
The Task Force’s 19 recommendations encompass a broad range of policy, program, and technology solutions, focused on core themes around health and safety, rights and benefits, and lifelong learning and upskilling.
- Create Lifelong Learning Accounts (accounts that help people invest in and access training opportunities) for all New Jerseyans, fund the accounts of low-wage workers, and encourage and provide mechanisms for employers to match funds for lifelong learning.
- Further develop the State’s Training Explorer to help workers make informed decisions about lifelong learning and training.
- Encourage all employers to invest in worker training, lifelong learning, and reemployment, and create financial incentives for small and medium-sized employers to do so.
- Support innovation and skills collaboratives to align New Jersey’s education and workforce systems, and align individuals’ education with their desired career pathways and in-demand jobs.
- Continue to expand low-cost access to degree programs (including access to community colleges), career and technical education, training, apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships.
- Fund and create better enforcement mechanisms to ensure employer compliance with workers’ rights and benefits laws, while integrating strategic enforcement mechanisms to proactively pursue violations using predictive analytics and publicize violations as a deterrent.
- Strengthen enforcement of the State’s existing laws on misclassification of workers.
- Explore the creation of a portable benefits system to provide more benefits to non-traditional workers.
- Launch an employer education initiative on the risks of algorithmic hiring tools to prevent discrimination and promote diversity in hiring, and explore the potential need to develop policy that would prohibit the use of discriminatory technology in hiring.
- Fix and modernize the NJDOL Unemployment Insurance website.
- Create new online platforms to make it easier for workers to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled.
- Advance development of the New Jersey Career Network, a virtual coaching program to help workers know their rights, develop new skills, and get back to work faster.
- Develop integrated and transparent data systems across agencies to promote better understanding of the labor market.
- Make it easier for businesses to start, maintain, and grow, and hire workers through the creation of a “Business One Stop” website.
- Promote and protect workers’ right to organize.
- Launch the Future of Work Accelerator to spur the creation of more innovative tools for safer work.
- Empower NJDOL to become a 21st-century regulator with better access to data and tools so the agency can better enforce worker safety laws.
- Invest in entrepreneurial businesses and non-profits that promote worker safety.
- Train public servants to use human-centered design practices so that the government develops worker policies and solutions with the input of workers.
The full Future of Work Task Force’s Roadmap and Recommendations can be found here.