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Garden State Uses Credential Data to Help State Economy and Education Bloom

By: David Ramsay, Director, Division of Workforce Research and Analytics, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

This blog is part of a series highlighting the work of Credential Engine’s state partners. Catch up by checking out our last piece here.

In October 2016, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) published its first Industry-Valued Credentials List. The goal was to align the skill needs of employers to the training, education and skills of job seekers and those seeking career advancement. In addition, this list would act as a consumer protection for those in search of training. Job seekers and others could be assured that a credential is valid and recommended by knowledgeable employers, educators, and workforce professionals. As LWD continued this work, it became evident that we needed a better platform to display our credentials with other valuable information.

Credential Engine filled that need and provided other opportunities for advancing our work.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has partnered with Credential Engine to integrate our state’s credential data with the organization’s broader, national Credential Registry to help New Jerseyans make more informed education, career and business decisions. For New Jersey, Credential Engine provides an opportunity to identify a wider range of credentials sought by employers in the state’s leading industry sectors.

Our participation populates the Credential Registry with new information about credentials and credential providers for those seeking training, employment, and career advancement in New Jersey and the greater Mid-Atlantic region. Credential Engine is already documenting credentials available nationwide, and now the Credential Registry will also include instruction that leads to particular credentials within New Jersey such as our Community Health Worker and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor; two credentials that connect to impactful careers.

New Jersey’s statewide initiative initially focuses on credentials in the six industries aligned with our college-based Talent Development Centers: Advanced Manufacturing, Construction & Utilities, Financial Services, Health Care, Retail, Hospitality & Tourism, and Transportation, Logistics & Distribution. These Talent Development Centers:

  • serve as anchors for expanded high-quality, employer-driven partnerships.
  • further build the capacity of the state’s higher education institutions to provide education and training aligned with the needs of the state’s key industries.
  • Provide industry-focused training for dislocated workers and currently employed/incumbent workers.

In addition, LWD hopes to incorporate our own Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) into the Credential Registry. The ETPL is a comprehensive listing of all schools and organizations offering occupational education and job training programs that are eligible to receive publicly funded tuition assistance in New Jersey. By partnering with Credential Engine on this work, we hope to create a comprehensive system, including an electronic application process, and expand our capacity to meet the data needs of stakeholders and citizens across the state.

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Please join us next week to learn why Michigan is committed to creating a transparent credential marketplace.