Category Archives: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

As A Matter Of Fact…New Jersey Offers Goya $80 Million to Create Nine New Jobs




October 24th, 2011 | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

Imagine you are a New Jersey job seeker (one of 418,000 unemployed in the state as of September, 2011, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development) and you read in the news that a firm will be getting a state subsidy to hire 175 new workers. You would be thrilled to see those new job opportunities in the state, right?

But, in the case of Goya Foods, Inc., only nine truly new jobs are being created.

Nine.

Of the other 166 “new” workers, 66 would be moved from Goya’s location in Bethpage, New York and 100 already work for Goya as contractors based in Secaucus, according to documents from the state Economic Development Authority (EDA). So these “new” workers are actually existing employees.

Those 100 current contractors may be counted as new workers because they will be converted to direct payroll employees or become part of a professional employer organization (PEO). The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations describes PEOs as enabling “clients to cost-effectively outsource the management of human resources, employment benefits, payroll and workers’ compensation.” Counting current workers as new workers might be technically correct under the subsidy law — but it just doesn’t make sense.

The state’s tax subsidy for these nine new workers is being offered under the newly revised Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit (UTHTC) statute. It is intended to provide an incentive to a firm by lowering its state corporate business tax obligation so that a company will make capital investments in buildings in urban areas near transit and create jobs.

Earlier this month, the EDA approved the $80 million-plus UTHTC for Goya Foods. The company would get that tax credit for building a new 600,000 square foot headquarters/distribution center in Jersey City, a half-mile from the Jersey City PATH station. Aside from the 175 “new” workers, 316 current Goya workers would move to the new facility from Secaucus. Goya’s current headquarters in Secaucus would be converted to a manufacturing facility and 53 jobs would be moved there from elsewhere in Secaucus, but would not be part of the $80 million subsidy.

Further, Goya is to benefit from the expansion of one of the state’s Urban Enterprise Zones to include the part of Jersey City where Goya plans to relocate, according to the Jersey Journal. Urban Enterprise Zones offer companies a host of tax benefits. The company is also seeking a 20-year property tax abatement for its new headquarters/distribution facility in Jersey City, which would lower the firm’s property tax bills; the Jersey City Council will vote to introduce the measure this week, with final approval to possibly come in the second week of November.

But that all may not be enough to keep Goya in New Jersey, according to EDA documents.

New Jersey is competing with New York state, because Goya is also considering moving North Jersey workers to an 892,943 square foot site in Suffern, New York, in Rockland County. No public information was provided by the EDA about the subsidies that may have been offered by the state of New York to woo Goya.

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blog, Economic Development Authority, Goya Foods, Jersey City NJ, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Policy Perspective, tax abatements

NJPP Monday Minute: 10/19/09

FLI program helps improve family life in New Jersey

New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program took effect July 1 of this year, providing workers with up to six weeks of paid benefits to care for sick family members, newborn and newly-adopted children. Governor Corzine signed the legislation in May, making New Jersey the third state (along with CA and WA) in the nation to adopt such a program, and the second to implement. California was the first state to implement paid family leave.

NJPP has supported paid family leave since legislation was first introduced almost ten years ago. In a 2001 report, research director Mary Forsberg noted that, “Today it is ironic that those who have the least need for paid family leave often have the greatest access, while those with the greatest need often have the least access. Indeed, the person most likely to be given paid leave is a salaried male with a relatively high education and income who works for a company of 50 or more. The person least likely to be given a paid leave is a young woman with children who is paid hourly, earns less than $20,000 a year and works in the service sector. The man is more likely to be taking time off for his own health problems; the woman is more likely to be taking time off to care for her children or her parents. The man is more likely to be able to absorb the cost of an unpaid leave than the woman earning $20,000 a year.”

Since July 1, more than 7,100 family leave claims have been approved. Of those, a little over 80% percent of claims are for bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child; the rest are claims to care for a seriously ill family member. Most of the claims that have been rejected are due to an insufficient relationship between the claimant and family member who is ill-only an illness involving a parent, spouse or child qualifies for leave, in-laws do not. In addition, intermittent bonding or care, such as taking leave one day a week to bond with a new child, is not included in the program.

As of October 1, workers have paid approximately $60 million into the FLI fund. The total of FLI benefit claims paid through October 1 is about $11.4 million. Benefits are funded entirely by employee payroll deductions with a maximum annual employee contribution in 2009 of $26.01-approximately 50 cents per week. If the rate remains the same throughout 2010 – 0.12 percent on wages up to $29,700 – workers will pay $35.64 in payroll deductions. Participating workers receive benefits equal to no more than two-thirds of their weekly pay, up to a maximum weekly benefit in 2009 of $546. It is also important to note that FLI does not necessarily give workers the right to return to their job after a period of family leave.

Any employee who has worked at least 20 weeks for any covered employer (not necessarily the one they’re working for at the time they need the leave) can apply, as long as they’ve earned 20 times the minimum wage (currently $145) in each of those weeks. FLI benefits are also available to any employee who has earned about $7,200 in the previous 52 weeks before they need the leave.

The dynamics of work and family have changed drastically in the last 50 years. It’s important that the workplace reflect this by helping workers maintain a healthful balance.

For more information on FLI visit the Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, Monday Minute, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Policy Perspective

The Record: A small step

The following editorial ran in The Record today. It highlights Governor Corzine’s plan to help those who have run out or will be running out of unemployment benefits by encouraging state businesses to hire people whose unemployment benefits have run out, by using money from federal discretionary funds and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development:

For 79 weeks, laid-off workers can collect unemployment benefits. That means the government will offer some financial help while day after day, week after week, people make cold calls, network, send out résumés, go to job interviews and then start the process over again.

The benefits won’t make anyone rich, but they help — 60 percent of a person’s average wage, not to exceed $584 a week. Then, after more than a year, after all that searching for work and still no job, unemployment insurance comes to an end.

It has stopped for more than 45,000 workers in New Jersey, at least 3,500 each week. That is scary.

On Tuesday, Governor Corzine announced a plan meant to encourage state businesses to hire people whose unemployment benefits have run out. Using money from federal discretionary funds, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development will give $2,400 to employers who hire those workers for jobs paying at least $15 an hour. The funds are to help cover the cost of training.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people will benefit.

This is a creative and worthwhile course of action. It lets people in desperate circumstances know that state government is aware of their predicament, and is trying to help. It offers hope during an especially bleak period. And it allows companies a cushion with which to take a risk.

“Whatever the governor is doing today is literally a Band-Aid on a hemorrhage,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie said Tuesday. “This is not going to create sustainable jobs for the people of the state of New Jersey.”

Christie called the plan an “election-year photo op.”

He may be right that Corzine’s effort will not provide jobs to everyone in the same boat, but that is almost beside the point. It will provide jobs for some. And for those people, however many, it will make all the difference. Better to employ several thousand then do nothing at all.

The measure stipulates that the newly hired workers cannot replace other workers, and they must be employed for at least six months. So even if, for some reason, an employee loses the job after half a year, that will have been half a year of earning an income, of going to work each day and of learning a new skill or keeping up with skills. It also means another job to put on the resume.

As for this being an election-year stunt, that seems rather dramatic. Corzine will not win reelection because 3,000 to 4,000 newly employed voters pull the Democratic lever in appreciation.

The federal government has extended unemployment insurance payments twice, and then paid for another stretch, prolonging the state’s 26 weeks to the current 79. Yet people still can’t find work. Bills go unpaid. A health problem or unforeseen car repair can upset whatever delicate financial equilibrium there was. Families lose homes.

Recent census data reveals that last year citizens in deep poverty — people whose income dropped below half the federal poverty line — reached the highest level in 14 years. That means a family of four earned $11,013 or less. The number of poor was the highest since 1960.

If Christie has a better idea, if he has a way to scoop up even half the workers in New Jersey who have exhausted unemployment benefits and plunk them into new jobs, we are eager to hear it.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, The Record, unemployment, unemployment benefits

NJ Biz: State: Private sector added 13,000 jobs in July

Good news on the economic front for Governor Corzine:

“The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Wednesday that private sector companies in New Jersey added 13,000 jobs in July, breaking 17 months of consecutive job cuts that stretch back to January 2008.

While the private sector added employees, 7,100 public sector jobs were cut in July as the state’s unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent, up from 9.2 percent in June.

According to preliminary estimates by the state agency, industry supersectors reporting job growth in July included leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services. The trade, transportation and utilities supersector reported job cuts for the month as did financial activities, education and health services.

A detailed breakdown of the job gains and losses in the state for July can be found at the agency’s Web site.”

NJBiz.com

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, job growth, New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, NJBIZ.com, private sector, public sector, unemployment

>DURING FIRST WEEK OF NEW CONGRESS, HOLT REINTRODUCES ONLINE JOB TRAINING AND BATTLEFIELD PROTECTION BILLS

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C.) – On the first day of the 111th Congress, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) reintroduced the Online Job Training Act and the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.

The Online Job Training Act (H.R. 145) would provide grants to states to establish or improve workforce training programs on the Internet. The bill would make job training more accessible and convenient for prospective workers. The legislation is based on a successful online learning pilot program run by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Rutgers University.

“In 2009, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, and jobs,” Holt said. “We need innovative programs that help get people back to work, and online job training is one such program that merits our support.”

Under the bill, each state would be eligible for $100,000 in federal funding to implement or enhance online courses as part of their workforce investment programs. The bill would also authorize $1 million for the creation of a national center for excellence in online job training to coordinate with state and local workforce investment boards as they develop technology-driven methods for education and job training.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development pilot program has demonstrated the value and effectiveness of online courses in providing skills training and education to low waged workers. This program, developed by Dr. Mary Gatta, Director of Workforce Policy and Research at Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, provided 128 women with a computer, Internet connection and access to online courses. Nearly all the women completed the program, and participants experienced a 14 percent annual wage increase.

One New Jersey woman took a course at night, while working in a residential group home. Because she was gaining certificates and job training in Excel and Access, her employer gave her a promotion to digitize and then manage the bookkeeping/database. In fact, she competed with another employee with more seniority for the promotion, and received the promotion specifically because of her job training. With the money from the promotion, she was able to start saving to send her daughter to college.

“Congressman’s Holt’s bill demonstrates the importance of using technology to better deliver education and training to all Americans,” Gatta said. “Over the years, many other states have implemented similar online learning programs for marginalized groups, and this bill represents a significant next step in scaling these programs up nationwide.”

The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act (H.R. 146) would establish a federal grant program specifically for preserving and protecting battle sites associated with the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Urbanization, suburban sprawl, and unplanned commercial and residential development have encroached on many of the significant battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. According to a 2007 National Parks Service (NPS) report, 170 of 677 nationally significant sites associated with the two wars are in danger of being destroyed in the next 10 years, including sites in Trenton and Princeton. At least 33 states could benefit if the bill becomes law. The bill passed the House in the 110th Congress but did not receive a vote in the Senate.

“The battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 provide a unique opportunity for Americans to experience where and how the epic struggle for our nation’s independence took place,” Holt said. “Preserving these American historic treasures is essential in remembering the sacrifices that our forefathers made to secure our freedom and independence, and in educating future generations about our rich cultural history.”

Enactment of Holt’s legislation would set aside funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the preservation and protection of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and related historical sites, as is currently done for Civil War sites. The bill would allow officials at the American Battlefield Protection Program to collaborate with state and local governments and non profit organizations to preserve and protect the most endangered historical sites and to provide up to 50 percent of the costs of purchasing battlefield land threatened by sprawl and commercial development.

In addition to the 170 sites in danger of being destroyed within the next 10 years, the NPS “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” found that 99 have already been lost forever and 234 are in poor condition.

Contact: Zach Goldberg
202-225-5801 (office)

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Filed under 12th district, Civil War, conservation, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Revolutionary War, Rush Holt

DURING FIRST WEEK OF NEW CONGRESS, HOLT REINTRODUCES ONLINE JOB TRAINING AND BATTLEFIELD PROTECTION BILLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C.) – On the first day of the 111th Congress, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) reintroduced the Online Job Training Act and the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.

The Online Job Training Act (H.R. 145) would provide grants to states to establish or improve workforce training programs on the Internet. The bill would make job training more accessible and convenient for prospective workers. The legislation is based on a successful online learning pilot program run by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Rutgers University.

“In 2009, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, and jobs,” Holt said. “We need innovative programs that help get people back to work, and online job training is one such program that merits our support.”

Under the bill, each state would be eligible for $100,000 in federal funding to implement or enhance online courses as part of their workforce investment programs. The bill would also authorize $1 million for the creation of a national center for excellence in online job training to coordinate with state and local workforce investment boards as they develop technology-driven methods for education and job training.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development pilot program has demonstrated the value and effectiveness of online courses in providing skills training and education to low waged workers. This program, developed by Dr. Mary Gatta, Director of Workforce Policy and Research at Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, provided 128 women with a computer, Internet connection and access to online courses. Nearly all the women completed the program, and participants experienced a 14 percent annual wage increase.

One New Jersey woman took a course at night, while working in a residential group home. Because she was gaining certificates and job training in Excel and Access, her employer gave her a promotion to digitize and then manage the bookkeeping/database. In fact, she competed with another employee with more seniority for the promotion, and received the promotion specifically because of her job training. With the money from the promotion, she was able to start saving to send her daughter to college.

“Congressman’s Holt’s bill demonstrates the importance of using technology to better deliver education and training to all Americans,” Gatta said. “Over the years, many other states have implemented similar online learning programs for marginalized groups, and this bill represents a significant next step in scaling these programs up nationwide.”

The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act (H.R. 146) would establish a federal grant program specifically for preserving and protecting battle sites associated with the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Urbanization, suburban sprawl, and unplanned commercial and residential development have encroached on many of the significant battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. According to a 2007 National Parks Service (NPS) report, 170 of 677 nationally significant sites associated with the two wars are in danger of being destroyed in the next 10 years, including sites in Trenton and Princeton. At least 33 states could benefit if the bill becomes law. The bill passed the House in the 110th Congress but did not receive a vote in the Senate.

“The battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 provide a unique opportunity for Americans to experience where and how the epic struggle for our nation’s independence took place,” Holt said. “Preserving these American historic treasures is essential in remembering the sacrifices that our forefathers made to secure our freedom and independence, and in educating future generations about our rich cultural history.”

Enactment of Holt’s legislation would set aside funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the preservation and protection of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and related historical sites, as is currently done for Civil War sites. The bill would allow officials at the American Battlefield Protection Program to collaborate with state and local governments and non profit organizations to preserve and protect the most endangered historical sites and to provide up to 50 percent of the costs of purchasing battlefield land threatened by sprawl and commercial development.

In addition to the 170 sites in danger of being destroyed within the next 10 years, the NPS “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” found that 99 have already been lost forever and 234 are in poor condition.

Contact: Zach Goldberg
202-225-5801 (office)

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Filed under 111th Congress, 12th district, Battlefield Protection Act, Civil War, conservation, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Online Job Training Act, Revolutionary War, Rush Holt

HOLT AND PALLONE LAUD FEDERAL GRANT FUNDING FOR FORT MONMOUTH WORKERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2008

U.S. Representatives Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) today lauded the announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor that it is awarding the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development $3 million in federal funding to retain a portion of the Fort Monmouth workforce. This funding will allow up to 1,100 Fort Monmouth employees to continue their work until June 30, 2010. The lawmakers believe keeping these highly skilled workers on board will ensure that our soldiers fighting abroad have the support they need as they fight to protect our country. The grant will also be used to assist workers in upgrading their skills through job training, as well as for efforts designed to attract businesses seeking to enter or expand their presence in the defense, communications, and homeland security sectors.

“While we continue to oppose the decision to close Fort Monmouth and pursue ways to reverse it, the talented workers at Fort Monmouth should be given every opportunity to continue to do their important work,” Holt said.

“While I continue to oppose the closure of Fort Monmouth, this grant will provide essential funding to retain the highly skilled workforce at the fort,” Pallone said. “Working with Governor Corzine, we will ensure that job creation is a priority so that the high tech jobs at Fort Monmouth stay in Monmouth County to support essential base operations.”

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Filed under Federal Grants, Fort Monmouth, Frank Pallone, Governor Corzine, Monmouth County, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Rush Holt, US Department of Labor