Workforce Development

$3M Available Via Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education Grant

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) Office of Apprenticeship has announced $3 million in available funding through the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) grant program, which supports the creation and expansion of pre-apprenticeship programs throughout the state.

The PACE program was developed primarily to promote equal opportunities, upward mobility, and economic fairness while helping to alleviate economic barriers that hinder upskilling. PACE programs provide tools such as job readiness, essential skills, and occupation-specific training, and funding that can be used to offset participants’ related costs, such as childcare, transportation, and the attainment of a high school equivalency diploma or GED.

“Apprenticeship allows people to take charge of their careers, build knowledge, and create contacts within their chosen field – and New Jersey has never had as many great apprenticeship options available, in such a diverse range of sectors, as there are right now,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Pre-apprenticeship provides the first step for many to build their careers.”

PACE pre-apprenticeship programs must partner with at least one Registered Apprenticeship sponsor, and together they must expand career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction, leading to better-paying positions and advanced credentials. Applications will be evaluated on the strength of the career paths and partnerships proposed, the quality of programming proposed, and the lead applicant’s organizational capacity to implement the proposal. All applicants should demonstrate their ability to ensure participants are able to acquire measurable skill gains as verified through regular progress reports.

“The NJDOL PACE grant has played a pivotal role in empowering and expanding the pre-apprenticeship program and the traditional apprenticeship program at Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College. By providing crucial support to participants facing various barriers, this grant has not only contributed to their success but has also created a sustainable career pathway for them within the construction industry,” said PACE grant recipient David Iannucci, special projects coordinator, Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College.

Organizations funded through, or working in partnership with, the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) program, are strongly encouraged to apply. The PACE program can provide a pipeline of candidates for Registered Apprenticeship programs funded through GAINS.

Key dates:

  • Nov. 21 and Nov. 30, 1 pm: Virtual technical assistance (TA) workshops (pre-registration required at least one business day prior to workshop; applicants are strongly encouraged to attend). Register for Nov. 21 here, or November 30 here.
  • Dec. 8: Letter of Intent due by noon
  • Dec. 15: Application due by noon

View complete details and the full Notice of Grant Opportunity here.

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