NIST MEP created the Emergency Assistance Program to support US small and medium-sized manufacturers (SME) as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). NJMEP jumped at the opportunity to secure additional funds for NJ manufacturers. These funds are being used to prevent, prepare, and help businesses respond to the numerous disruptions caused by Coronavirus.
By concentrating on Workforce Development, providing Technical Resources, and Supply Chain Support, NJMEP developed a comprehensive suite of services to support manufacturers’ specific needs during this time. Businesses all over New Jersey have struggled. New Jersey manufacturers were able to remain open but still could not avoid all the pressures COVID-19 put on their operations. As the workforce became even more turbulent, training and professional development opportunities dried up, and a fractured supply chain caused issues up and downstream, NJMEP responded.
A dwindling manufacturing workforce was an issue long before Coronavirus. However, the pandemic accentuated these challenges. Skilled labor is nearly impossible to come by and when a person does have the knowledge and experience, those individuals are often nearing retirement.
Now is the ideal time to get to the root of the workforce problem in New Jersey. NJMEP received support to partner with Manpower and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) to train 160 unemployed or underemployed individuals from Newark, Camden, Trenton, Paterson and surrounding areas.
These ’employees-to-be’ will earn industry-valued and nationally recognized credentials from MSSC, including the Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification. Training will reduce onboarding time, improve employee performance and retention, and provide reduced recruitment and training costs.
New Jersey manufacturers can save their business a spot to secure their share of these 160 individuals. Visit the Project 160 page to learn more today.
In-depth Strategic Virtual Course Offerings
Professional development provides so much value to businesses and employees. Investing in employee’s growth improves company loyalty, moral, and gives people the skills to do better work for their employer. In-person training was eliminated when the pandemic struck.
Social distancing removed the option to provide many professional development opportunities. Additionally, the expense of training employees was unjustifiable during such uncertain times. NJMEP created the solution with the COVID-19 Virtual Training Opportunities.
From business recovery strategies to virtual lean or digital marketing training, COVID-19 Virtual Training provides manufacturers the professional development opportunities they need. Learn more about the CARES ACT Programs, here.
Supply Chain Support
COVID-19 was close to shattering every link in the domestic and international supply chain. No sector was safe. Concerns over food manufacturing facilities being forced to close, manufacturers producing essential infrastructure were on the brink of closing shop, and businesses that produce sanitizers and cleaning agents were worried they would have to cease production. New Jersey was one of the only states that considered all manufacturing essential and allowed these businesses to remain operational if they followed safety guidelines to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
NJMEP fought for a month straight to ensure the manufacturing industry was protected. Recommended Reading, “Essential Manufacturing”
Part of NJMEP’s mission during the height of the pandemic was to create a comprehensive supply chain database composed of manufacturers and distributors from all around the state. This list captured critical information such as capabilities, challenges, and immediate needs. Using this information, as well as collaborating with state and federal leadership, NJMEP was able to connect manufacturers with other businesses that could either provide solutions to their immediate challenges or needed their products. Not only did this drum up business for manufacturers on the list, but the information was also used to ensure critical supply chains were unimpeded and were provided vital support from private entities such as NJMEP or the state and the federal government.
The information captured and the partnerships created as a result of developing the supply chain database had and will continue to have a lasting impact on the rigidity and reliability of that United States supply chain.
There is no avoiding the impact of COVID-19. New Jersey was one of the hardest-hit states, but the resiliency of manufacturing helped lessen the economic impact. Manufacturers in New Jersey have a partner they can trust. NJMEP is here to ensure these businesses have the people, training, and supply chain support they need to continue forward.