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Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Talent Network

New Jersey’s Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Talent Network (RHTTN) builds partnerships to develop and support the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries in the Garden State and formulates strategies for competing at the regional, national, and global levels.

The RHTTN, led by Fairleigh Dickinson University in the northern part of the state and Stockton University in the southern part of the state, connects with businesses, educational institutions, workforce organizations, training groups, and community- and faith-based organizations to gather ground-level intelligence on the industry to make informed decisions on high-quality public workforce investments and expand the number of New Jersey residents with industry-valued credentials or degrees.

RHTTN North is responsible for developing Targeted Industry Partnerships (TIPs) in the following regions:

  • Northwest: Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren Counties
  • Northeast: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union Counties

RHTTN South is responsible for developing TIPs in the following regions:

  • Coastal: Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties
  • Delaware River: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties

Both RHTTN North and South are responsible for collaborating and developing a shared TIP for the following region:

  • Central: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties


Key Efforts

  • Develop industry intelligence: Creating and implementing effective workforce and education programs requires an accurate and timely understanding of business needs. The RHTTN works closely with labor market analysts from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to provide a crucial source of information on the workforce needs of the industry. The RHTTN hosts an Industry Summit to gather intelligence and inform key workforce stakeholders of essential employer needs and produces an annual Industry Workforce Report. Additionally, the RHTTN engages employers and industry associations to contribute to the Industry-Valued Credentials list.
  • Develop high-quality, employer-driven partnerships: The RHTTN works closely with businesses, Workforce Development Boards, educational institutions, training groups, and community- and faith-based organizations to develop high-quality, employer-driven partnerships known as Targeted Industry Partnerships (TIPs).

Return on Investment for Businesses to Join TIPs

  • Gain the distinction of becoming an industry champion and receive priority on applications for New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development training grants.
  • Access the Targeted Industry Partnership (TIP) fund, which will support implementation of the strongest workforce investment ideas developed by the TIPs.
  • Spearhead discussion on the priorities of your industry with business, workforce development, education, and state officials to shape the future of your industry.
  • Network with regional businesses in your industry to promote innovation, collaboration, and efficiency.

The RHTTN works in areas of the state that have a concentration of retail, hospitality, and tourism businesses to:

  • identify workforce needs and common skill gaps to determine in-demand skills, abilities, and credentials.
  • develop a workforce strategy (formalized in a written plan) to satisfy workforce needs and close skill gaps.
  • develop sustainable TIPs through commitments from partners.

Quick Facts

  • In 2015, leisure, hospitality and retail trade (LHR) employment totaled 814,979 or nearly one-quarter (24.6 percent) of all private sector workers in the state and represented $46.9 billion or 9.2 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
  • In 2015, the retail trade, food services, and drinking places components combined accounted for more than four of every five jobs (86.4 percent) in the LHR cluster.
  • In 2015, the tourism industry in New Jersey accounted for nearly $43.3 billion in the state’s economy and directly supported 318,330 jobs. New Jersey is one out of two states in the country without self-service gasoline stations, with jobs growing in this sector due to the expansion of gas stations and convenience stores.
  • Eight out of the top 18 employers in New Jersey fall within the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries.
  • Despite the job losses in Atlantic City, the employment and wages paid to New Jersey tourism workers rose in 2015 and marked the sixth straight year of spending and visitation growth by 3.3 percent reaching $43.4 billion.
  • Due primarily to their tourism-based economies in 2015, over one-half of Atlantic (51.4 percent) and Cape May (54.8 percent) Counties' total private employment was concentrated in the LHR cluster while the state’s totaled one-quarter (24.6 percent).
  • From 2010 to 2015, Camden County experienced the most growth with employment in accommodations at 41.1 percent, while Monmouth County grew 29.9 percent and Gloucester County grew at 29.0 percent.
  • Over a five-year period, Hudson County has experienced the most growth in retail trade employment, rising 18.4 percent, followed by Sussex County (10 percent) and Middlesex County at 9.1 percent.
  • From 2010 to 2015, Essex County has experienced the most growth in employment in the food service and drinking places sector at 25.3 percent, while Hudson County grew at 24.5 percent and Somerset County at 19.6 percent.