Gov. Phil Murphy announced grant awards totaling $2.8 million to seven New Jersey businesses and higher education institutions for training programs that will employ 480 new apprentices within the next 12 months and start them on a new career path.
The grant funds support a diverse range of programs. They are designed to promote economic growth by building experience in high-demand industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, software development, clean energy and utilities, healthcare, and more. The funds support good-paying, skilled jobs for which there is expected to be a demand in New Jersey for years to come.
The grant recipients will begin or expand apprenticeship programs to train machinists, skilled tradesmen, auto technicians, tool & die makers, medical and lab techs, chemical techs, human resources staff, and others. Apprentices will earn at least $15 per hour.
“Our vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey starts with workforce development,” said Governor Murphy. “With these investments, we are providing residents of New Jersey with the necessary skills and training they need for good-paying jobs that will help move our economy forward.”
“Apprenticeships build a pipeline of skilled workers, create a viable career pathway for students, and allow businesses to remain competitive and thrive,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We know that this investment in a stronger, fairer economy is good for everyone.”
“Apprenticeship and a college degree are often viewed as separate career tracks, but they’re really complementary,” said Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis. “College students need workplace experiences before graduation, and apprentices gain from classroom instruction in subjects that reinforce what they learn on the job. Employers and students alike will benefit from the apprenticeship grants announced today.”
Funding comes from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) competitive grant, which was announced last fall. The GAINS program promotes the creation and expansion of U.S. Labor Department-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs that drive economic development through skills and educational attainment and create paths to better-paying careers and advanced industry credentials. The grant program also promotes diversity in Registered Apprenticeship programs by encouraging the hiring of underrepresented groups such as veterans, people with disabilities, and ex-offenders.
Grant amounts range from a high of nearly $1 million to a low of $24,000. The announcement was made at Sansone Auto Mall, part of the Motors Management Corp., which is receiving $440,000 to jumpstart its automotive technician and diesel mechanic program.
“Over the next several years it is anticipated that New Jersey could experience a shortage of up to 25,000 technicians, as current technicians retire and the next generation gravitates to other occupations,” said John Pugliese, Sansone’s chief executive officer. “The GAINS program will allow us to expand our apprenticeship program to various vocational high schools and community colleges. With this program, each apprentice will have the opportunity to become a Master Technician and have a meaningful and rewarding career.”
“The shortage of auto technicians in New Jersey could reach 25,000 workers in the next several years,” said Rich Liebler, Sansone’s chief administrative officer. “We’re grateful to receive nearly a half million dollars in apprenticeship funds to help us recruit, train, and mentor the next generation of technicians.”
“New Jersey is at the center of economic prosperity and innovation,” said Speaker Craig Coughlin. “Creating different pathways for professional development is critically important and reaffirms our commitment to helping businesses and their employees succeed. This unique partnership invests in our workers and businesses and will help to promote a strong economy.”
The GAINS Grant program is part of Murphy’s New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that seeks to make the Garden State a leader for apprenticeship programs nationwide, and provide options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers.
Additional funding remains available through the GAINS Grant, and NJDOL’s Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) Grant. For information on eligibility, or to learn more about New Jersey’s apprenticeship opportunities, visit nj.gov/labor/apprenticeship.
Since Governor Murphy’s first year in office, New Jersey has registered 143 new registered apprenticeship programs, hired 2,384 new apprentices, and issued 1,157 industry recognized certificates of completion. These include the State’s first cybersecurity apprenticeship at Sollers College and the country’s first Technical Sales Representative apprenticeship of its kind through the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP).
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