State of New Jersey

Department of Labor


Project Overview

Individuals—especially low-income individuals, customers of state human services programs, and individuals from other disadvantaged populations— preparing for the workforce face a high degree of uncertainty about what is the optimal training to acquire the skills they need to secure their desired job that will provide a family-sustaining wage. Relatedly, individuals that make hiring decisions face a high degree of uncertainty about how well any given candidate will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. In an era of machine learning, however, it is possible to provide helpful information about whether a training program is or is not a good fit for a specific person and if there is alignment of the knowledge, skills, and abilities imparted by the program with the demands in the regional labor market.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, its strategic partners, and private vendors (“the New Jersey team”) propose to address these problems by expanding its collection of open data about training programs and using that data to build a “smart disclosure” tool. 

Two innovations distinguish New Jersey’s project from similar smart disclosure tools in the education and training arena: the use of AI and machine learning to match people to training opportunities to help them achieve their goals, and the incorporation of competency frameworks that help both jobseekers and employers understand the skills that are associated with a training program.

Although the proposed tool will be available to the public at large, it will be designed with and for low-income individuals, customers of state human services programs, and individuals from other disadvantaged populations. 

The project will result in a set of open source tools that will accomplish a three-fold goal of helping jobseekers obtain their desired employment and earnings outcomes; employers find better qualified employees; and regulators make data-driven decisions that weed out fraudulent and low-quality training providers.

Lead Organization

New Jersey Department of Labor

Partner Organizations

Governor’s Office of Innovation

Governor’s Office Policy Division

John J. Heidrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University

New Jersey Council on County Colleges

New Jersey Department of Education