In a bid to reverse a decades-long decline in factory jobs, New Jersey’s 12,000 manufacturers are being asked to take part in a landmark survey to assess how far the state has moved toward world-class standards.
The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program is coordinating and funding the survey, which is being rolled out nationwide. It should only take about 30 minutes to complete online, according to Bob Loderstedt, president of the nonprofit NJMEP, which trains manufacturers in efficiency.
The survey asks manufacturers to assess themselves in six key areas, including customer-focused innovation and worker engagement.
The results could identify gaps between intention and execution, Loderstedt said. “Suppose 40 percent give a very high rating to the importance of human capital, but 50 percent are spending 8 hours or less each year training each employee.” That’s a disconnect that signals a need for new public policies, he said.
To get the word out, Loderstedt has enlisted the help of several business groups, among them the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey, Employers Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Technology Council.