CCM wins $4M federal grant to grow manufacturing apprenticeship programs

Manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities continue to grow in New Jersey, as the County College of Morris announced it has won a $4 million grant to expand its programs.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies program will help CCM lead a consortium of the state’s community colleges in building a network of apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing through a project called Career Advance USA.

“With more than 7,000 manufacturers in New Jersey, the apprenticeship program will help bridge the gap to create a skilled workforce in entering a critically important industry in New Jersey,” CCM President Anthony J. Iacono said in a prepared statement. “The USDOL grant further supports and strengthens our mission to be one of New Jersey’s major economic engines.”

CCM was one of only 23 academic institutions awarded such a grant, according to its news release.

The DOL program focuses on advancing the development of apprenticeship programs in three areas: advanced manufacturing, information technology and health care, according to CCM.

It supports partnerships between educational institutions and the public and private sectors that will help close the skills gap by providing key training and job placement opportunities and strengthen pathways into the workforce.

The consortium of community colleges includes:

  • Bergen Community College;
  • Camden County College;
  • Hudson County College;
  • Mercer County Community College;
  • Middlesex County College;
  • Raritan Valley Community College; and
  • Rowan College at Gloucester.

National industry partners involved include:

  • Arconic;
  • Glenbrook Technologies;
  • Norwalt Design;
  • Rosenberger;
  • Siemens;
  • UPS; and
  • Other New Jersey businesses.

The German American Chamber of Commerce is also a partner in the grant, bringing experience and expertise in the German model of apprenticeship training.

Enrollment in the program will target both traditional and underrepresented populations, with plans to train at least 1,600 people overall.

CCM is building a 31,500-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center slated to open in 2020, which the college said is well-timed with the grant.

It is also receiving about $500,000 in grant money from the DOL as part of a consortium on health care apprenticeships led by Bergen Community College.

“Not only are these grants an historic occasion for CCM, but also for New Jersey and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, which also is partnering in the apprenticeship programs,” Iacono said.