News

Star Ledger: Promises to the 94% Must Be Kept

Ryan Haygood writes in the Star Ledger:

Without the support of the Black community, it's unlikely that he would be New Jersey's governor, given that 53 percent of white voters supported his opponent.

So what does this Black support mean to the governor going forward? Murphy stated that he is conducting a racial disparity study.

That's the right place to start. Racial disparities in wealth, in access to the ballot box, and in criminal justice illuminate the systemic racism facing New Jersey's Black community.

For example, the median net worth for New Jersey's white families is $271,402 -- the highest in the nation. But the median net worth for New Jersey's Latino and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively.

Additionally, New Jersey denies the vote to nearly 100,000 people who are in people who are in prison, on parole or probation. Half of those denied the right to vote are Black, though black people comprise just 15 percent of the state's population.

But nine months into his administration, the governor has not focused on these or the starkest racial disparities affecting New Jersey: its shameful youth incarceration system.

Times of Trenton: Gov. Murphy invests $10M to create a skilled N.J. workforce

The Times of Trenton Editorial Board wrote:

A non-profit organization working to improve the state's urban communities says it's found a key to economic prosperity in a tried-and-true labor arrangement that's been with us for generations.

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice sees apprenticeships as a way to build a skilled workforce while putting women and minorities on an even playing field with other job applicants.

The approach has much to recommend it, especially for unemployed workers who continue to struggle in the long shadow of the 2008 recession.

In a stroke of cosmic good timing, the institute issued a report extolling the virtues of apprentice programs at the same time Gov. Phil Murphy has launched such an initiative through the state's Department of Labor.

 

101.5: A call for more apprenticeships to boost New Jersey economy

101.5 reports:

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice's report calls on Garden State lawmakers to introduce a range of incentives to promote apprenticeship programs.

Demelza Baer, the Institute's senior counsel and director of the Economic Mobility Initiative, said many people are working but they’re “unable to afford all of life’s necessities, like rent, food and healthcare. This inequality is worse for people of color and women and it’s reached a really alarming level.”

 

NJBiz: Incentives proposed for expanding NJ apprenticeships

NJBiz reports:

Last week, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice unveiled a series of recommendations on how the state can bolster its apprenticeship programs and spur recruitment of women and people of color.

The report suggested a statewide plan to diversify the demographic makeup of apprentices, tax credits for the establishment of new apprenticeship programs, apprentice wage reimbursement for businesses and state-subsidized tuition waivers for state residents.

The report also suggested the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Talent Networks fund three new adult apprenticeship programs in various parts of the state, with a focus on high-growth industries such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences, transportation, finance, advanced manufacturing, health care and energy.

“Apprenticeships are a core part of our strategy to make New Jersey stronger and fairer,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

NJ Spotlight: NJ’s Missing Apprentices: State Urged to Do More to Increase their Number

NJ Spotlight reports

A report released last week by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice spotlights a number of programs that have been created in other states to foster apprenticeships that often lead to lifetime careers offering good pay and full benefits.

The group’s report also suggests a number of ways New Jersey policymakers could do more to establish more robust apprenticeship programs, including creating new programs within schools to encourage students to get into careers based on a specific skill or trade and offering new tax credits to companies for hiring apprentices to work alongside their skilled employees.

NJ’s Missing Apprentices: State Urged to Do More to Increase their Number

NJ Spotlight reports:

A report released last week by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice spotlights a number of programs that have been created in other states to foster apprenticeships that often lead to lifetime careers offering good pay and full benefits.

The group’s report also suggests a number of ways New Jersey policymakers could do more to establish more robust apprenticeship programs, including creating new programs within schools to encourage students to get into careers based on a specific skill or trade and offering new tax credits to companies for hiring apprentices to work alongside their skilled employees.

Rutgers-Newark Profiles Democracy & Justice Fellow Ron Pierce

Rutgers-Newark published a powerful profile of Ron Pierce, the Institute Democracy and Justice Fellow:

The Democracy and Justice Fellowship is awarded to a previously incarcerated person who has demonstrated great compassion and advocacy for individuals in prison and those released. The two-year program provides gainful employment and networking opportunities for a talented and dedicated person who has a felony conviction.

“I’m so thankful for my internship with NJISJ because it confirmed that social justice activism is my calling. It’s a meaningful way for me to make a difference and to help my friends on the inside,” Pierce shared.

As a Democracy and Justice Fellow, Pierce hopes to tear down the many barriers to re-entry. While the lack of housing and employment present tremendous challenges for those newly released, Pierce believes restoration of voting rights is the greatest concern. A healthy democracy demands full, unfettered civic engagement, according to Pierce, who last casted a vote in 1985.

“Our voices matter. Through voting we’re no longer silenced. Voting empowers us and allows us to have a say in how we want to be governed.”

Institute Releases New Report on How Apprenticeships Can Advance Racial and Gender Equity and Strengthen the Economy in New Jersey

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Newark, New Jersey—Today, on September 6, 2018, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (Institute) released Becoming the United States of Opportunity: the Economic Equity and Growth Case for Apprenticeships, a new report on how apprenticeship programs can strengthen our economy and advance economic opportunity by connecting residents—particularly women and people of color—to living wage careers. Read the report online here. Read the PDF version of the report here

"I want to commend the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice for the release of its insightful new report. Apprenticeships are critical to the economic empowerment of New Jersey's residents and businesses.  As a state, we need to create more opportunities for our residents to begin careers that open up the doors for employment, while ensuring that our high-growth industries have the workforce that they need to excel in our economy," said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. "It is for this reason that I plan to introduce legislation that would greatly expand apprenticeship opportunities in New Jersey, particularly for women, people of color, and other people who have been under-represented and under-paid in our state. Through this legislation, New Jersey will be the national model for creating an inclusive apprenticeship program that expands economic opportunity while strengthening our economy." 

New Jersey is the 7th worst state for income inequality in the nation, with people of color and women disproportionately represented among low-wage workers.  Women of color also experience some of the worst pay gaps in the nation, as New Jersey is ranked last for pay equity among all 50 states for Latina women and in the top ten worst states for pay equity for Black women.

“At the direction of Governor Murphy, and in partnership with the Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, we are proud to usher in the largest expansion of apprenticeships in our state's history," said Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Apprenticeships are a core part of our strategy to make New Jersey stronger and fairer, and we are excited to have the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice join us on this important mission to ensure that our expansion of apprenticeships is deliberately designed to create more opportunities for women, people of color, and other people with barriers to employment to enter and thrive in apprenticeship programs that pay a living wage and set them on a career path in our high-growth industries."