DOL to allocate $1.2M in grants to military women and minorities in construction trades

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development — in an effort to provide more opportunity for veterans, women and minorities in the construction trades — announced Friday it is making $1.2 million in grant funding available through the Helmets to Hardhats for Women and Minority Veterans Program.

Helmets to Hardhats is a national nonprofit program to help Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members connect with career-training opportunities in the construction industry.

The NJDOL’s new grant will provide women and minority veterans with training to prepare them for employment and/or apprenticeships in the construction and building-related trades, through the national H2H model.

Applications are being accepted from public training providers, employers/contractors, nonprofit agencies, county and municipal governments, and labor, trade and community-based organizations.

The DOL will host technical assistance workshop webinars at 1 p.m. Wednesday, and again April 21, to provide guidance to interested parties who meet the application requirements of the Notice of Grant Opportunity. Applicants must register for the workshop via email by noon Monday.

Letters of Intent must be received by May 7. Completed applications, with all required documents, must be submitted by noon May 14. For more information, click here.

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said the H2H organization has great impact.

“Our military personnel make great sacrifices for our country that we are grateful for,” he said. “I am proud to support them in their endeavors to find a steady career in a key industry following their military service.”

The grant is funded by the New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity, or NJBUILD, and carries a maximum grant award of $400,000. Participants in the program are to earn a minimum wage of $15 per hour in one of 23 approved occupations in the building and construction trades, as outlined in the NGO.

Bill Mullen, president of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, supports the program.

“This valuable program offers women and minority veterans opportunities to participate in world-class apprenticeship programs to train workers to become highly skilled, six-figure-earning construction workers through technologically advanced education that may include professional licenses and certifications,” he said.

“This tuition-free program does not subject participants to any debt and provides a valuable pathway to family-supporting wages, health care and retirement benefits. New Jersey veterans deserve more than a handshake when they come home.”

The previous round of H2HWMVP grants resulted in the placement of 75 military apprentices, including 34 women and minority servicemembers, into a registered apprenticeship in building and construction trades. Over the program’s 11-year span, NJDOL has assisted and supported thousands of military personnel throughout the state and placed nearly 1,000 program participants.