DOL offering $3.5M in grants to train apprentices in non-traditional fields

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development — in an effort to continue its learn-while-you-earn apprenticeship programs — announced Friday it is making $3.5 million in funding available through the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors grant program.

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said the mission of the GAINS program is to promote the expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and attainment of advanced industry credentials.

The program seeks to develop new apprenticeship opportunities and expand existing ones, create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries as outlined in the Notice of Grant Opportunity, and bolster workers and businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The earn-while-you-learn model benefits both workers and employers by providing a wage, along with experience and learned skills, so our workforce is prepared for jobs in high-demand industry sectors,” he said.

“Apprenticeship programs can exist in practically any field, from construction to clean energy to health care, so creating more of these opportunities will help us rebuild our workforce in the wake of the pandemic. We are especially proud of the career opportunities this grant gives to new populations of workers.”

Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent to express interest in the grant opportunity by noon May 21. Completed applications must be received by noon May 28.

Proposals must provide new apprentices a starting wage of no less than $16 per hour. GAINS funding can be used to reimburse up to 50% of new apprentices’ wages for a maximum of 12 months.

The NJDOL will host two technical assistance workshops via teleconference, on April 27 and May 4, to provide guidance to interested parties who meet the application requirements of the NGO. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop, and must preregister at least three days in advance here.

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