NJMEP, NJEDA sign MOU that includes pilot program on manufacturing resources

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved a memorandum of understanding with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program at its regular board meeting Tuesday.

The MOU signifies the growing headway the manufacturers group has been able to make in the state.

The memorandum includes a $15,000 commitment from the EDA to help with a pilot program that aims to more widely broadcast resources the NJMEP has to connect manufacturing companies with a pipeline of new labor from community colleges and vocational schools in the state.

The resource guide created by the NJMEP also will be tweaked by a joint group from the NJMEP and EDA to make it a better tool for the industry and educational institutions.

NJMEP CEO John Kennedy has said the industry is a $50 billion-plus sector that employs at least 360,000 workers in the state.

In December, Gov. Phil Murphy also highlighted the work the NJMEP has done by signing a bill that would provide $250,000 from the state to match a federal grant awarded to the NJMEP for being a top-performing program in the state.

The funding was slated to be used in Newark, Paterson and Trenton to expand apprenticeship programs in various sectors related to manufacturing.