Gov. Phil Murphy announced grant awards totaling more than $3 million to fund programs to employ and train apprentices in jobs that will start them on a sustainable career path in high-demand occupations. The announcement was made the same day that the governor spoke at the launch of the Holz Technik Academy in Jersey City. Academy attendees are hired by Eastern Millwork, attend Hudson County Community College, and eventually earn Associate degrees in Advanced Manufacturing.
“Investing in workforce development is critical to developing a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “These grants will help ensure our residents have the training and resources they need to succeed in the 21st century economy and help move our state forward.”
The eight grantees are businesses and agencies that will hire and train nearly 350 apprentices in diverse occupations including paramedics, water treatment system plant operators, dementia care professionals, and computer system analysts.
The funding comes through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) competitive grant, designed to provide experience and expand the skilled workforce in high-demand industry sectors such as health care, information technology, clean energy, and more.
The announcement follows an initial outlay of funds, announced in February and totaling $2.8 million, which launched the GAINS program.
“Apprenticeships are a win-win for apprentices and the businesses who hire them,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Building a pipeline of skilled workers creates a viable career path for students and allows businesses to thrive. Every industry sector can benefit from this forward-thinking approach.”
“Apprenticeships open doors to family-supporting jobs and rewarding careers,” said Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis. “Their winning combination of work experience and classroom education make apprenticeships an outstanding model to spread to additional industry sectors. I applaud this initiative to bring experiential learning to high-demand occupations across the state.”
Based on a successful earn-while-you-learn model in the construction industry, GAINS seeks to 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 U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs by encouraging the hiring of underrepresented groups such as veterans, people with disabilities, and ex-offenders.
As of April, there were more than 750 registered apprenticeship programs in New Jersey, employing more than 7,600 apprentices.
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