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Position Papers

CCSNJ Support of S-1631

Workforce DEIB


TO:                  Members of the Senate Labor Committee

FROM:             Hilary Chebra, Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

RE:                   S-1631 (Greenstein/Beach)

DATE:              May 8, 2023

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) would like to voice our support for S-1631 (Greenstein/Beach), which would establish a program in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) to connect individuals with disabilities with job training and employment opportunities.

This bill reflects one of CCSNJ’s core values: to foster an inclusive community that embraces the diversity of the companies, organizations, and individuals we serve. A diverse workforce is critical for New Jersey and must include individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 2021, the CCSNJ was proud to be part of a group of statewide/regional business organizations and legislators for a conversation about private sector employment opportunities for IDD individuals. As a result, Chairman Fred Madden created a Task Force to specifically discuss and promote employment opportunities for these group of workers.

To provide comprehensive feedback to this Task Force, the CCSNJ surveyed our members to see which private sector member companies have job opportunities for IDD individuals and if not, to learn more about the hurdles that may prevent them from doing so. While 80 percent of respondents said they have hired individuals with disabilities, a major barrier for hiring was information. Specifically, the issue was where to find qualified candidates and job coaching information. The top request from the employer community was a dedicated job coach to work as an intermediary between the company and the applicant. Although these services exist, respondents do not know how to connect with them, which is something the CCSNJ has offered to do for our members moving forward.

As written, S-1631 (Greenstein/Beach) takes one of the CCSNJ’s recommendations from the member survey - that the state consider developing a program for employers through the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS), in coordination with the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DOLWD), which would connect nonprofits that provide job coaching and training for the disabled community to private entities. This bill would do just that and the CCSNJ is appreciative that the Legislature acted on our recommendation.

As a result, the CCSNJ respectfully requests you support S-1631 (Greenstein/Beach).

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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