Murphy announces $4.5M apprenticeship grant program

Gov. Phil Murphy, back in Trenton after an eight-day trade mission to Germany and Israel, quickly continued his push for apprenticeships Wednesday.

The governor announced a $4.5 million grant program designed to spur the creation and expansion of apprentice programs in nontraditional business sectors, building on his announcement in March that he would create a New Jersey Apprenticeship Network and an Office of Apprenticeship under the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Murphy also signed a memorandum of understanding last week in Germany that calls for growing a workforce training program that allies New Jersey companies with the German American Chamber of Commerce.

“The New Jersey Apprenticeship Network is an important step toward building a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” Murphy said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “This major investment in our people will provide the tools for New Jersey residents to build meaningful careers in critical, high-growth professions, and puts us on the path to lead on workforce development and reclaim our status as the state of innovation.”

The new grant program — called Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors, or GAINS — will see the Office of Apprenticeship invest $4.5 million to support what the Governor’s Office called a 21st century apprenticeship network. The grants will offset costs for businesses that invest in workers through on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

“After meeting with hundreds of individual businesses, employees, trade associations, community groups, parents, teachers and school administrators, it is clear that a career pathway with on-the-job learning can help fill jobs at all skill levels,” Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo said in a statement. “In my mind, there is almost no industry sector that wouldn’t benefit from a robust apprenticeship program.”

The grant runs through fiscal 2019, with applications accepted starting Friday. Click here for more information.

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