New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo announced the state had achieved a record number of Registered Apprenticeship programs and recognized the recipients of $3 million in new grants to expand earn-while-you-learn opportunities beyond the traditional occupations.
Asaro-Angelo announced New Jersey reached its 1000th Registered Apprenticeship program (there are now 1,002) – a 64% increase since Governor Phil Murphy took office in January 2018. Additionally, New Jersey is seeing unprecedented growth in the diversity of the apprentices funded through its GAINS (Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors) grantees, with 63 percent identifying as Hispanic, African American or female.
The continued expansion of apprenticeship opportunities builds on record growth in 2018-19, when New Jersey was ranked No. 1 among the states in percentage of DOL-Registered Apprenticeship growth.
“Because of Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer economy for all, we have significantly more apprentices, more employer partners, more non-traditional apprenticeship opportunities, and more minority participants than when the governor took office,” said Asaro-Angelo.
Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), a longtime advocate of apprenticeship, joined the commissioner at an event in Newark. She has sponsored bills to make apprenticeships more accessible for New Jersey residents, especially in high-growth industries. She has also promoted diversity in the programs, and advocated for defraying costs like transportation and child care that could deter would-be apprentices.
“Apprenticeships offer a pathway to lifelong careers, often in high-wage industries that are vital to our state’s economy,” said Ruiz, the Senate President Pro Tempore. “The expanded accessibility to apprenticeships will bolster our workforce and expand opportunities for New Jersey residents, especially for the marginalized groups who have historically been denied access to these industries. We are making real change in the lives of the people that need it the most.”
Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Murphy’s Jobs NJ initiative, a plan to both ensure that all career seekers in New Jersey can obtain the education and training needed to access high-quality jobs and help the state’s businesses and employers quickly fill their talent needs. Additional funding for apprenticeships is part of the more than $20 million for implementing the Jobs NJ initiative that Governor Murphy recently announced in his FY2021 budget.
NJDOL recently awarded $3 million in GAINS grants to 12 recipients with proposals to support apprenticeship innovation and growth. One of the recipients is
Apprenti™, the nation’s first registered tech apprenticeship program and a program of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Workforce Institute. Apprenti will receive $215,400 through GAINS to train and place future tech workers at Princeton University and other employers in New Jersey.
“This is a very exciting day for Apprenti,” said its co-founder and executive director, Jennifer Carlson. “We are so grateful to have the support of the state of New Jersey, Commissioner Asaro-Angelo, Ryan Haygood and the team at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and Sen. Ruiz for working so hard to get Apprenticeship bills passed on the state level. At Apprenti, our mission is to improve outreach and diverse communities by offering them the opportunity to seek a job in the tech sector through our apprentice programs. We look forward to working with our future partners to continue to expand opportunities for financial mobility across the state.”
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