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Thomas Edison State University Applauds Governor’s Signing of CreateNJ Bill

President Merodie Hancock on TESU Campus

Marking a significant milestone for workforce development in the state of New Jersey, yesterday Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill to establish the Center for Career Relevant Education and Talent Evaluation (CreateNJ), an innovative initiative designed to address the critical need for skilled workers across diverse industries in the state.

Sponsored by Assembly members Eliana Pintor Marin, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Anthony S. Verrelli, and N.J. Senators M. Teresa Ruiz and Shirley K. Turner, CreateNJ aims to empower individuals by capturing their career-relevant knowledge, skills and abilities derived from formal higher education, technical training, workplace training and apprenticeship programs into one comprehensive document. This transformative approach not only validates the time and talents of individuals, but also provides them with the opportunity to represent themselves more accurately within the workforce.

“Today’s signing of the CreateNJ bill is a significant step toward building a stronger and more informed pipeline for employers in New Jersey,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president, Thomas Edison State University (TESU). “This innovative Center will play a pivotal role in translating the achievements of individuals into a language that is readily identifiable and understood by industry leaders, fostering a seamless connection between skilled workers and prospective employers.”

“With the Governor’s signature, this law acknowledges a hands-on approach to learning by allowing adult students to receive proper credit for their skills and abilities that extend beyond classroom hours,” added Senate Majority Leader Ruiz. “Collaborations between government, educational institutions and private industry, such as this one, are key to supporting our students and ensuring they have a viable, clear professional trajectory available to them when they graduate.”

The proposed CreateNJ workforce transcript, to be housed within the CreateNJ Center at TESU, will serve as a critical capstone to existing efforts by N.J. Pathways, the N.J. Department of Labor and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE). This comprehensive tool will establish a central resource for the evaluation and translation of learning experiences into a validated record of academic credit, career credentials, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship credits, and pertinent knowledge, skills, and abilities. It allows individuals to clearly visualize their professional trajectory, linking earned and developing skills and knowledge to workforce and professional opportunities across the state.

In a joint statement, Assemblypersons Verrelli and Reynolds-Jackson said, “This is a transformative bill that will have a tremendous impact an important group of people pursuing a college education. People who participate in learning outside of the higher education system, through rigorous programs such as apprenticeships or law enforcement training, earn valuable knowledge and skills. However, translating that prior learning into college credits that institutions of higher learning will accept takes time and effort. Enter Thomas Edison State University, a nationally recognized leader in evaluating prior learning and translating that learning into transferable college credits accepted throughout New Jersey’s higher education system. TESU is bringing higher education into the 21st Century and we are proud to say that they’re not only based in New Jersey but, more specifically, the district we represent, the 15th Legislative District.”

By connecting these skills and knowledge to career opportunities, employers gain a comprehensive view of the capabilities of the workforce, enabling them to identify gaps and better understand the training needed.

“The Center for Career Relevant Education and Talent Evaluation of New Jersey at Thomas Edison State University will reflect New Jersey’s commitment to providing students with education that aligns with the demands of the evolving job market,” said Assemblywoman Marin. “This center will serve as a hub, bridging the gap between education and industry needs, and positioning New Jersey at the forefront of workforce development.”

Hancock emphasized, “CreateNJ will provide a valuable resource for employers to assess the full picture of how many individuals are equipped for various roles, facilitating more effective preparation and hiring strategies while simultaneously empowering more New Jerseyans with meaningful transcripts to progress their academic and professional goals.”

The CreateNJ workforce transcript would be designed and powered by TESU’s knowledge bank.  The transcript will empower the end user (the student/worker) allowing them to promote their acquired skills to current and prospective employers and outline a path for successful completion of an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree. In addition to owning their transcript, the end user will receive recommendations for potential job and degree attainment opportunities, adaptively based on the content of their individualized workforce transcript and the need for employment within the state. TESU looks forward to collaborating with the key stakeholders in the implementation of CreateNJ, further solidifying the university’s commitment to fostering a skilled and dynamic workforce in New Jersey.

Anyone interested in learning more about CreateNJ as it is implemented should fill out this form.

Toni M. Terry, BA

"I am 67 years old, soon to be 68, and to be able to say I did this at this day in my life is just gratification for my own self."

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