Our state's innovative potential is the foundation of our future prosperity. It is incumbent upon us as policy makers to create an environment that nurtures promising industries, gives entrepreneurs the skills and capital to create jobs, and allows New Jersey companies to compete both regionally and globally. I strongly believe that by promoting innovation and nurturing the free exchange of ideas, we make our society as a whole better. Manufacturing has proven to be an example of a promising industry to not only create jobs for New Jersey, but grow our economy as well, and it is with that thought that I proposed A3021 which directs the Secretary of Higher Education to establish a pilot program to assist certain unemployed and underemployed individuals to complete a career and technical education certificate program in 12 months. New Jersey’s economy and workforce will benefit from the development of a prepared workforce for this emerging industry.