New Jersey to offer job training to out of work pharmaceutical workers

Workers who have been affected by a bout of recent layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry in New Jersey are eligible to receive state aid and job training through a grant by the federal government. The news comes as pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced it was cutting 1 percent of its workforce in Switzerland and the U.S.

Harold J. Wirths, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, told the New Jersey Newsroom qualifying residents can get up to $5,000 to find new jobs or retrain to enter other sectors of the emerging life sciences industry.

“We still have funding available for short-term education and training grants at many colleges and universities in New Jersey to help this special segment of our workforce transition into the smaller, but viable and emerging bio-science industry," Wirth added.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 workers in the U.S. and Switzerland face the pinkslip as drug maker Novartis gets ready to restructure its operations and close down three manufacturing facilities.

Novartis said the latest round of job cuts should help save the company $200 million a year.