Press Release
November 1, 2019
4 minute read

State Leaders Meet with New York Fed to Discuss Alignment of Workforce and Economic Development

(From left) NJDOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo; Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis; President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of NY, John C. Williams;  Dr. Carl Van Horn, Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development; Tim Sullivan, CEO NJEDA
Representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and New Jersey state leaders discuss strategy for alignment of New Jersey’s workforce and economic development programs. 

TRENTON, N.J. (November 1, 2019) – Representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the head of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development today met with leaders from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), and the New Jersey Office of Innovation to discuss strategy for alignment of New Jersey’s workforce and economic development programs.
“Today’s meeting hosted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority provided us with important insight into how New Jersey’s employers and higher education institutions are nurturing its workers through training and apprenticeship programs that prepare them for the evolving economy,” said David Erickson, head of Outreach and Education at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “This meeting is part of the New York Fed’s efforts to deepen our understanding of local economic conditions, by hearing from officials, business leaders, and community groups throughout our region.”
The New York Fed routinely meets with local community and business leaders to gain a deeper understanding of regional economic conditions and inform the policy making process. Today’s conversation focused on efforts to create a seamless economic development pipeline that provides resources for businesses looking to launch or expand in New Jersey while also preparing New Jersey workers with the skills they need to succeed. 
NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan launched the conversation by laying out the NJEDA’s comprehensive approach to economic development that focuses on building the foundation for sustainable, equitable economic growth throughout New Jersey. This broader approach to economic development includes targeted incentive programs focused on job creation and urban redevelopment, but also includes a variety of new efforts, from the Office of Economic Transformation’s focus on growth in key sectors, including offshore wind, to the state’s whole-of-government approach to driving Opportunity Zone investment.
“Building a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy requires taking a holistic approach to economic development that recognizes talent’s critical role in attracting businesses and facilitating business growth,” said Sullivan. “Today’s meeting was an exciting opportunity to lay out New Jersey’s comprehensive approach to growing our economy and creating good jobs for our workers while brainstorming ideas to make our efforts even more successful. I look forward to partnering with the NY Fed as we continue this important work.”
While Sullivan focused on presenting New Jersey’s programs for attracting and growing businesses, NJDOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo and Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis discussed the State’s workforce development efforts. Commissioner Asaro-Angelo highlighted ways the NJDOL is moving away from a transactional approach to workforce development toward a work-based approach fueled by input from businesses. In particular, he focused on NJDOL’s occupational skills training, expanded apprenticeship programs, and partnerships with industry leaders to ensure training programs are providing workers with the skills companies need.
Secretary Smith Ellis focused on ways New Jersey is making higher education more accessible, from the Community College Opportunity Grant program, which makes community college free for students whose families make less than $65,000 per year to expanded internship programs that give students a chance to earn money and gain on-the-job skills while in school. She also highlighted New Jersey’s work in high schools to get students on the college-bound track and the NJ Education to Earnings data system, which analyzes data on students from Pre-K to college graduation to determine interventions that will enhance retention and boost educational attainment.
“The key to building a thriving economy is to focus on creating good, family-sustaining jobs. Achieving that goal requires not only supporting companies, but also training workers with the skills they need to succeed,” said Dr. Carl Van Horn, Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. “Today’s discussion highlighted the ways New Jersey is developing a cohesive economic development pipeline that simultaneously helps companies grow and prepares workers to take on the jobs these growing businesses create and laid the groundwork for future partnerships with the New York Fed to expand upon these efforts.”  
To read Governor Murphy's full economic plan, please visit:
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.