Governor-elect Phil Murphy today announced the nomination of New Jersey roots guy Robert Asaro-Angelo of East Brunswick as Labor Commissioner.
“In order to build a 21st century economy in New Jersey, we must have a 21st century workforce,” Governor-elect Murphy said. “Whether it be free community college or making job training more effective and inclusive, we need a Labor Commissioner who will ensure the quality of our workforce development programs match the incredible talent of our state. Education and training are the keys to making our economy grow and ensuring equal opportunity for everyone. Rob Asaro-Angelo shares those values and I am thrilled that he will serve our administration as Labor Commissioner.”
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development oversees the state’s workforce training and improvement programs, enforces wage and hour laws for workers, protects worker health and safety, administers the state’s unemployment insurance program, and ensures fairness through the workers’ compensation, temporary disability, and family leave programs, among other responsibilities.
“Issues such as wage theft and fair labor practices are not esoteric issues to me – it’s personal,” Governor-elect Murphy added. “Ever since I experienced wage theft working at a diner at the age of 13, I have known that it is wrong to take advantage of those working hard to help their families. Rob will ensure fair labor practices, fight wage theft, and preserve the basic tenants of organized labor in our state. Now more than ever, our working class needs a champion, and I am confident that Robert will be that champion.”
“To build a 21st century economy strong in innovation and infrastructure, New Jersey will need a workforce ready for the challenges and opportunities that come with progress,” said Asaro-Angelo, son of a longtime Atlantic City labor organizer. “New Jersey needs to be put on an entirely new economic course, one that reflects our values — diverse, inclusive, innovative, and backed by the best-educated, best-skilled workforce that grows and strengthens our middle class. And we must stand for the rights and protections of all New Jersey workers, regardless of background or profession. I am honored to answer Governor-elect Murphy’s call to serve as Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.”
Raised in a union family, Mr. Asaro-Angelo, 42, is currently a principal for Working Solutions, LLC, founding the firm in February 2017.
From 2010 until 2017, he was Eastern Regional Representative for the U.S. Department of Labor, responsible for managing the department’s regional activities and coordinating federal efforts on the regional, state and local levels in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also served on intergovernmental work groups such as the White House Hurricane Sandy Task Force, White House Task Force on Puerto Rico, Regional U.S. Interagency Councils on Homeless and FEMA’s Recovery Support Function Leadership Group.
He also has worked for the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), AFSCME, and SEIU 1199. He served as executive director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee in 2008, during the transition of Bush to Obama, when Senator Joe Cryan served as state party chairman.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.