The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is awarding more than $8.6 million in three grant programs that support apprenticeship and training initiatives. They are: the Growing Apprenticeship In Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS), Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE), and New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity (NJBUILD) Women and Minorities in Construction grant programs.
The state has invested a total of $50 million through grant programs to create and develop work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs across the state. Since Governor Murphy took office in January 2018, 582 new Registered Apprenticeship programs have been created in New Jersey – a 95% increase – and on-boarded 14,676 new apprentices. The state currently has 8,361 active apprentices serving in 1,193 programs.
“Apprenticeships play a vital role in cultivating our workforce and empowering participants to acquire the essential skills they need for securing rewarding employment,” said Governor Murphy. “These grant programs allow apprenticeships that bring invaluable opportunities to underserved individuals, which in turn strengthens our state and promotes fairness. These efforts align with this Administration’s steadfast commitment to transform New Jersey into a state of opportunity for all.”
“The simple reality is that these apprenticeship programs work,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “They benefit employers who can create a steady stream of skill-ready workers. They benefit employees who learn valuable skills they can take with them as they build careers with family sustaining incomes.”
A total of $1.9 million is being awarded to 10 grantees through the GAINS program, with the expectation of placing 169 new apprentices in occupations such as electrician, roofer, plumber, behavioral health aid, hair stylist, cybersecurity analyst, and more.
GAINS expands United States Department of Labor (USDOL) approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and advanced credential attainment, developing new and existing programs in high-growth industries, with a focus on equality of opportunity, upward mobility, and economic fairness.
“New Jersey Water Association is in our second GAINS grant cycle, and this funding source has been instrumental in growing our newly established apprenticeship program to support workforce needs and create employment opportunities in the critical utility services involving water and wastewater operations throughout New Jersey,” said NJWA Apprenticeship Coordinator Matt Maffei. “The employer salary reimbursement provision has aided NJWA in recruiting participating employers, and in many instances, this compensation is used by employers to offset expenses related to NJWA’s apprenticeship program technical instruction requirements.”
The GAINS program has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color, with more than two-thirds of participants being women or minorities – twice the average among all apprenticeship programs in the state. Women account for 67 percent of GAINS apprentices, greater than seven times the statewide average of female apprentices when Governor Murphy took office in January 2018. The GAINS program has doubled the number of women in Registered Apprenticeships throughout the state.
More than $2.1 million is being granted through the PACE program to seven awardees to place 242 apprentices in occupations including clinical medical assistant, operating engineer, supply chain manager, and advanced manufacturing, among others.
PACE programs prepare participants for a Registered Apprenticeship, a post-secondary college or an occupation-specific career training program, or the workforce. PACE pre-apprenticeship programs must partner with at least one Registered Apprenticeship sponsor, together expanding career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction, leading to better-paying positions and advanced credentials.
“The NJ District Council of Roofers Pre-Apprenticeship Program will utilize the PACE grant to hire and train 25 participants during a 10-week training class. This program will act as a feeder program for our four-year apprentice program, which supplies apprentices to our signatory contractors,” said William Millea, Apprentice Coordinator for Roofers Local No. 4. “The funding from the PACE program allows us to supply participants with tools, CPR certification, OSHA 30 certification, as well as the knowledge needed to safely enter the roofing trade.”
PACE primarily serves to alleviate economic barriers to upskilling, providing job readiness, essential skills, and occupation-specific training, with funding that can be used to offset participants’ related costs, such as childcare and transportation.
Just above $4.5 million is being granted to nine awardees to bring on 352 apprentices through the NJBUILD Women and Minorities in Construction program in such occupations as HVAC, weatherization, fiber tech, lead abatement, green infrastructure, telecommunications, offshore wind, construction management, and many more.
This program promotes outreach and occupational skills training such as pre-apprenticeship training, Registered Apprenticeship, and on-the-job-training for women and minorities, helping them gain workforce readiness and skills to enter a union apprenticeship or employment in a construction-related job with a pay rate of at least $15 per hour. It also assists public works contractors, businesses, and trade unions in meeting their workforce needs, as well as provides reimbursement of wages and related costs.
NJBUILD was created under P.L. 2009, chapters 313 and 335, and is funded by contributions from state agencies, independent authorities, and colleges and universities of one-half of one percent of the total cost of public works construction contracts of $1,000,000 or greater.
“Ideal Institute of Technology’s participation in the Women and Minorities grant helped us in our mission to teach skills to at-risk youth and prepare them for employment in a mainstream trade,” said Ren Parikh, founder and director of the Atlantic County trade school.
For a complete list of Fiscal Year 2023 GAINS Round 2, PACE Round 2, and NJBUILD grantees, please click here.
To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.Related Articles: