NJMEP to partner with African American Chamber on training initiatives

The manufacturing sector in New Jersey has long been in need of more applicants for advanced manufacturing and other positions. Help may be on the way.

John Harmon. (File photo)

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program announced it is teaming with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to deliver accelerated work-and-learn apprenticeship programs designed to upskill current and future workers for jobs in manufacturing and supply chain industries.

Chamber President John Harmon said he is thrilled by the opportunities this could present.

“AACCNJ is pleased to team with NJMEP to help create a pipeline of workers that will have increased marketable skills that will positively impact their future earning potential,” he said. “In addition, we will serve as a conduit to assist manufacturers in achieving their production goals and thereby maintain a thriving economy.”

John Kennedy. (File photo)

MEP CEO John Kennedy said these programs will support all types of registered apprenticeship and certification models, including preapprenticeships.

NJMEP currently trains 160 underemployed or unemployed individuals from Newark, Paterson, Camden and Trenton who will be provided with online Manufacturing Skills Standards Council training. These individuals will receive foundational certifications in manufacturing or transportation, logistics and distribution — the qualification helps with upskilling and onboarding. NJMEP and AACCNJ are currently accepting additional program participants.

Participants will graduate from the program as either:

  • Certified production technicians (content: safety awareness, production & process, maintenance awareness, quality assurance); or
  • Certified logistics technicians (content: global supply chain logistics, logistics environment, material handling equipment, safety principles, safe material handling & equipment operation).

The upskilling opportunity is relevant to those looking for entry-level jobs, planning to start participating in an apprenticeship program or adding formal training to their education mix — only a resume is needed for the application (via email: info@njmep.org).

For the employer, these program participants are ready to apply for entry-level positions.

NJMEP also offers apprenticeship programs to all manufacturing and supply chain companies in New Jersey through the Pro-Action Education Network, which includes registered apprenticeship programs (Industrial Manufacturing Production Technician, technical sales representative, IMPT food, IMPT CNC, and logistics technician); train-the-mentor, on-the-job training and career advancement training; as well as the food training programs that have received national support from National Institute of Standards Technology.

“As industry adopts new technologies, it is vital to be able to quickly adapt with a well-trained workforce,” Kennedy said. “Having the most current standards will drive manufacturing competitiveness and simultaneously grow new talent to these new occupations, upskill current employees and allow companies to be more agile in their workforce planning.”

Harmon said he’s eager to get going.

“We look forward to helping as many people as possible in accessing these valuable accelerated work and apprenticeship programs; the benefits could prove to be transformational for their lives,” he said.