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November 10, 2022
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Major State Inspection Program Update

Healthcare Webinar Success – Learn More About the New Program Today

2022 Election Results

Take our 2022 MBP Program Survey

NJGCA 2022 Turkey Drive

Major Inspection Update

Unfortunately, we have more bad news for the PIF community in the state. The ongoing saga of the state government’s continual screw-up of the inspection program continues even further. After formally awarding the contract for an updates program to a new company (OPUS), the state has made a complete U-turn with zero explanation and have cancelled the award of the new contract. They have granted an extension of the current program with no changes to Parsons for another year. It is not clear what the actual reason behind this termination is, though there are plenty of suspicions, (including that it may somehow be politically motivated). Ultimately it means the current system will continue for the foreseeable future. It is not clear yet if either the state will award a contract for an updated program to Parsons or if they are throwing out the draft contract and are going to rebid the entire thing. This would be a 3rd rebid if they decide to go that route, remember this contract was supposed to end in May 2016. This also means a delay in PIFs’ ability to get new equipment. There was a notice sent out not long ago from OPUS requesting information from PIFs, as part of their expected takeover. OPUS has reached out to NJGCA to ask us to let you know that they are shredding all that information for those who have sent it. We will let you know when we have more to share, but it looks like you can continue the same practices for at least the next year or two.       

Healthcare Program Webinar

Thank you to our members who were able to join us and World Insurance this week to learn more about a brand-new health plan that NJGCA is offering to members that has not been offered before. Members who have already taken the time to investigate the program are finding significant savings in many cases. As you are all aware, healthcare is a huge expense for any business. Especially this time of year, it’s a good opportunity to at least explore your options. Only NJGCA members and their employees are allowed in this plan, and the plan can be tailored to even accommodate just one person. If you were not able to join the webinar and would like to learn more, you can watch a recording from the October 25th webinar HERE. You can also visit the NJGCA Health Benefit Program page and take the census to review your options. If you have any questions on the plan, please email michelle@njgca.org who will forward your question to World Insurance to answer. It costs nothing to investigate your options!

2022 Election Results

Midterm election season is officially over. Many of the pollsters were expecting a big win for Republicans between President Biden’s struggling approval ratings and the fact that historically midterm elections are good for the party not in power. However, when the results came in, it turned out to be disappointing for Republicans based on where their expectations were. Results are still being counted, especially out West, but it appears that Republicans will narrowly flip control of the House, though their margin will likely be single digits which will make it hard to get anything on their agenda done. There is still even a chance that Democrats will wind up with control of the House if they pull out victories in every outstanding race, though this is unlikely. Control of the Senate remains unknown and it seems likely it will be determined by less than 1% in Nevada and by a likely runoff election in Georgia next month. These results would seem to indicate that while many voters were unhappy with the state of the economy and the way Democrats have governed for the last two years, they are also highly skeptical of giving power back to Republicans. Especially given the fact that many of the Republican candidates were seen as being controversial. One exception to the mediocre night for Republicans was Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis led the GOP to a historic landslide; winning by 19% in a state that Trump only won by 3%.

Among the New Jersey elections, the only meaningful change in the Congressional races is in the 7th district in central New Jersey, where Republican Tom Kean Jr. won a close victory against the current Congressman, Democrat Tom Malinowski. All the other current members of Congress were elected to another two-year term except in the Hudson County based 8th district, where Robert Menendez (son of current Senator Menendez) was elected to his first term.

MBP Survey

Earlier this year, you should have received the 2022 NJGCA Member Benefit Partner Brochure, which provides information about all of the companies/businesses/vendors that have partnered with NJGCA to provide our members with the highest quality products and services.  

Now, it's time for you to tell us what you think! The information and feedback that you provide will help our Member Benefit Partners tailor their programs to best suit the needs of our membership. If you also use companies which are not currently NJGCA MBPs that you are happy with, please let us know so we can determine if there are businesses that we would like to partner with in the future. 

This year, we are excited to announce a giveaway tied to our survey. All NJGCA members who complete the survey will be automatically entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. We will randomly select four winners on December 9th who will receive a gift card by email. 

This survey allows you the opportunity to give feedback about the companies that you do business with, from Compliance Testing Companies to Retail Distributors to law firms. Please complete this short survey, even if you do not use a NJGCA MBP listed in our brochure. Your feedback will help us learn more about other businesses and services that we may want to include in future brochures.

Click HERE to access the survey. 

Turkey Drive 2022: Final Call

NJGCA is hosting another virtual turkey drive amid news that surging turkey prices may affect New Jersey families' holiday season again this year. This year we will again be making a donation to the Fulfill NJ food bank, which is based near our office. We plan to deliver the check to Fulfill on November 14th. Last year, thanks to the generosity of our members we were able to donate $5,000 to the food bank, which provided 15,000 meals to families in need. We always hope to be able to exceed the previous year’s goal in the spirit of giving during the holiday season. If you are able, please consider donating. 

For every $1 donated, Fulfill can provide food for up to three meals. Your gift will ensure that food is available through our network of nearly 300 feeding partners to help make Thanksgiving possible for our neighbors facing hunger.

Be Well-

Your Association Staff



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 615 Hope Road, Building 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  


Murphy Announces Crackdown On 'Epidemic' Of NJ Auto Theft As Midterm Vote Looms

With the state's historic wave of auto theft becoming a central election issue, Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday promised stiffer penalties and more funding to combat the criminal gangs that have propelled auto theft to record levels in New Jersey the last two years. Speaking at a news conference a day before Election Day, Murphy called for new legislation and said his administration had already taken steps that were having an impact on a stolen-vehicle surge that he conceded had "risen to near epidemic levels." "We know we must do more to reduce the likelihood of car theft and hold those who do commit these crimes accountable," said Murphy, who appeared at state police headquarters in Ewing with fellow Democrats Nicholas Scutari, the state Senate president, and Craig Coughlin, the Assembly speaker.


Labor Market Is Still Running Hot

U.S. employers added 261,000 jobs in October, reports the Wall Street Journal, and although that is a strong number, it’s the least amount of added positions since December 2020. Unemployment increased to 3.7%, up 0.2 percentage points over September. The unemployment rate has shifted between 3.5% and 3.7% since March. Wages increased last month, rising 0.4% from September to October. However, wage growth slowed on an annual basis, up 4.7% in October year over year, down from 5% in September. Wage gains have been weakening since their peak in March at 5.6%, but they are well above pre-pandemic levels, reports the Journal. “The earnings numbers in these data are still not consistent with 2% inflation,” Boston Fed President Susan Collins told the Journal, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s target level. “There’s clearly more work to do there.” The Federal Reserve wants to slow wage-increase rates in order to ease price pressures.


Gasoline at $5 Hurt Democrats More Than Drivers

In theory, the Democrats shouldn’t be that worried about gasoline prices today. In practice, the Democrats are terrified about gasoline prices today: I’m going to have a little — as they say — come to the Lord talk with the oil companies pretty soon. That was President Joe Biden speaking in California heading into the last weekend before Tuesday’s midterm elections. His fear of a pump-price backlash explains his zig-zagging in terms of, by turns, cajoling oil companies to produce more and then threatening them with divine retribution. This is despite average gasoline prices having fallen by almost a quarter from June’s $5 a gallon peak.



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  

Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.



  Member Benefit Partner Message Board  







  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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