Workforce Development

NJ Department of Labor Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week through November 18 by hosting events and forging new partnerships designed to promote on-the-job learning as a viable career pathway.

Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo book-ended the week with two announcements designed to promote apprenticeships in in-demand industries such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing beyond the 1,875 new registered apprentices and 81 new employer sponsors who have signed up since January.

The commissioner kicked off the week by signing an agreement with the US Department of Labor on Tuesday to foster apprenticeship expansion. The joint Memorandum of Understanding encourages the state and federal agencies to share information and help businesses interested in establishing or growing their apprenticeship programs.

“Through this agreement and the ongoing efforts of our new Office of Apprenticeship, our goal is to drive economic development in New Jersey through demand-driven job and educational programs that lead apprentices to learn specialized skills, earn industry-valued credentials and start good-paying careers,” said Asaro-Angelo. “That’s Governor Murphy’s vision for a fairer, stronger economy, and the Labor Department is excited to be on the front lines of implementing this forward-thinking approach in non-traditional industry sectors that will shape the future of work.”

He capped off the week at Middlesex County Vocational School with a joint announcement on Friday – along with state Education and Higher Ed officials – that apprenticeship will be reinstated as a positive outcome for New Jersey high school students on the School Performance Report, an annual measure of post-secondary choices made by graduating seniors. Additionally, the officials will announce the revitalization of NJ PLACE, a partnership with post-secondary schools to award college credit to students who participate in registered apprenticeship programs while enrolled in college.

“We aim to give our 1.4 million children all the tools they need to succeed, from preschool to youth apprentice programs and career education,” said Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet. “I’m happy to see the re-instatement of apprenticeship as a performance measure that gives high school and vocational students an incentive to enter these programs and ensure their post-secondary success for their careers of choice.”

Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis added: “We have created a pathway for students to earn college credit for on-the job learning. An apprenticeship can serve as a complementary element of a high quality college education.”

On Wednesday, Asaro-Angelo joined fellow Cabinet officials at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities in Atlantic City for a panel discussion on New Jersey Apprenticeship Network public-sector workforce strategies. The panel focused on fulfilling the biggest needs of local employers through apprenticeship.

On Thursday, the commissioner joined Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, Higher Education Secretary Zakiya Smith Ellis and Board of Public Utilities President Joe Fiordaliso in AC for a discussion on how innovation will help shape New Jersey’s economy and open new paths to the middle class.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

Related Articles: