N.J.’s registered apprenticeship programs top 1,000; awarded $3M in new grants

Robert Asaro-Angelo, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, announced on Tuesday that New Jersey has hit a record in its number of registered apprenticeship programs and recognized the 12 recipients of $3 million in new grants to expand on “earn-while-you-learn” opportunities.

Asaro-Angelo said the state achieved its 1,000th registered apprenticeship program (there are now 1,002), a 64% increase since Gov. Phil Murphy took office in January 2018. Additionally, New Jersey has seen growth in the diversity of apprentices through its GAINS (Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors) grantees, with 63% identifying as Hispanic, African American or a woman.

In 2019, the state was ranked No. 1 in the percentage of DOL-registered apprenticeship growth, it said.

“Because of Gov. 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,” Asaro-Angelo said.

Additional funding for apprenticeships is part of the more than $20 million Jobs NJ initiative that Murphy announced in his 2021 budget.

One of the recipients of the GAINS grant is Apprenti, the nation’s first registered tech apprenticeship program. Apprenti will get $215,400 through GAINS to train and place future tech workers at Princeton University and other employers in the state.

“This is a very exciting day for Apprenti,” Jennifer Carlson, co-founder and executive director, Apprenti, said. “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.”