RWJBarnabas Health Earns Competitive GAINS Grant

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has selected RWJBarnabas Health to receive $800,000 in funding from its Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant program, which is designed to provide experience and to expand the skilled workforce in high-demand industry sectors, such as health care. The funding will create new apprenticeship opportunities that seek to develop career pipelines for existing RWJBH employees to further their professional development and advance their careers through the system.

“We are honored to receive the competitive GAINS grant to support our workforce development initiatives across the system,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJBarnabas Health.  “With this grant, we are able to greatly strengthen our efforts in engaging with our employee community and further promote their economic stability and career development, which supports their long-term sustainability.”

At RWJBarnabas Health, our primary mission is to build healthier communities.  In order to accomplish this goal and to effectuate meaningful change, we understand that we must address the social determinants of health, which include education, food security, affordable housing, safe living environments and economic stability.

Our 33,000 employees are vibrant members of our communities.  And their economic stability is critical our communities’ health. RWJBarnabas Health will use the GAINS grant to support funding for the broader Strategic Workforce Development division and engage 80 apprentices across the system, including 30 paramedics, 25 lab technologists and 25 patient care technicians. Support will include opportunities, resources and professional development that will open pathways to new careers in health care.

“The system has a strong history in its dedication to building career ladders for frontline workers,” said Lourdes Valdes, Director of Workforce Development and Grants.  “Not only will the GAINS grant support career advancement from within our community, it also reinforces our commitment to creating an institution-wide culture of promotion, equity, and opportunity across our network.”

In recent years, the system’s focus on career advancement has driven the creation of RWJBarnabas Health’s Career Ladders program, which provides professional certification programs and soft skills training opportunities for frontline employees across the system.

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