Today marks the start of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) recognition of National Apprenticeship Week from Nov. 13-17, with the entire month of November commemorated as Apprenticeship Month in New Jersey following a proclamation issued by Governor Phil Murphy.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is celebrating both occasions alongside business, trade, educational, and vocational organizations, with the Department’s leaders attending events with Baron-Queen Inc., net.America, Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College Hammonton Campus, the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission, Pathways to Apprenticeship, and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which today held a graduation ceremony for its first class of apprentices.
Since the beginning of the Murphy administration, the state has invested $50 million in developing apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and work-based programs, contributing to the creation of 622 new Registered Apprenticeship programs – a 100% increase – and the onboarding of 16,789 new apprentices. The state currently has 8,788 active apprentices in 1,233 programs, which span a wide range of occupations, including in healthcare, human resources, information technology, manufacturing automotive, and furthering fusion energy research at PPPL, among many others.
“Apprenticeships offer New Jersey residents the chance to learn relevant skills within the fields in which they seek to build a career while simultaneously bolstering our state’s workforce,” said Murphy. “Understanding the importance of apprenticeships to families and businesses throughout New Jersey, my administration has worked to meaningfully expand these opportunities over the past several years. I look forward to seeing the continued benefits these efforts will have for many years to come.”
“From the start, the Murphy administration recognized apprenticeship as a strong and reliable method of building our workforce, and one that can be applied to virtually any field, as we’re proving here in New Jersey,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Through the vital investments dedicated by the state to growing apprenticeship programs over the past five years, the number of these worthwhile opportunities has doubled, and this significant progress will have a decades-long impact on our workforce.”
Commissioner Asaro-Angelo this morning attended PPPL’s first graduation ceremony for apprentices funded through the financial assistance of NJDOL’s Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant, one of the department’s several grant programs that seek to grow registered apprenticeship programs in the state.
“With over four years of on-the-job training, our apprentices work alongside our experienced staff learning skills that are critical to this mission while attending classes in their fields. We are so proud of our first group of four graduates, all of whom have become full-time employees at Princeton, and we are grateful to our partners at the federal and state level for their support,” said Diana Adel, program manager for the Apprenticeship Program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. “At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, we are focused on solving one of our country’s greatest challenges – the development of clean, safe, carbon-free electricity. To do so, we need a highly skilled technical workforce, and our first-in-the-nation registered apprenticeship program in fusion energy and engineering is designed to do just that.”
In Fiscal Year 2023, NJDOL distributed $12,094,318 through three grant programs to support the growth of Registered Apprenticeship across the state. The individual grant funds and the totals distributed through each program are: Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS), which awarded $4,963,267; Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE), which awarded $5,131,051; and Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW), which awarded $2,000,000. In total, this funding has supported 40 programs in the recruitment of 1,761 apprentices.
These grants are part of a suite of apprenticeship programs under the governor’s New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that positions the Garden State as a leader for apprenticeship programs nationwide and provides options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers.
Last week, NJDOL announced another $8 million in available funding through the GAINS and PACE programs for Fiscal Year 2024. For complete information on how to apply for either grant, visit the NJDOL’s Grant Opportunities website.
To see current notices of grant opportunity, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/labor/research-info/grants.shtml
For more information on the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning, please visit: http://apprenticeship.nj.gov.
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