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NJ Workforce Training Program Marks 10th Anniversary

Many of the workers at Zodiac Aerospace have taken the training.
Phil Gregory

State officials, community college and business representatives in New Jersey gathered at an aerospace equipment company in Wall Township to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a workforce training program.

Carolina Diaz took the basic skills course when she starting work at Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems ten years ago. She's now a quality control inspector at the company that makes inflatable escape slides for commercial aircraft.

"Basic skills gave me confidence in my job in my everyday work and actually inspired me to keep going and go back to school. Now what I'm doing is I'm working on my Masters in Business Administration."

The state provides more than a million dollars a year in grants for the training.

Acting New Jersey Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichter says over the past ten years the program has trained about 114,000 thousand workers at 7,500 different New Jersey employers.

“It’s a lot of basic skills training, English as a second language training, but it really helps people move up the career ladder and be more productive in their jobs. It means that we’ve a more skilled workforce and it means that we can compete for economic growth and economic activity, and companies want to be here and want to grow.”