The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced Tuesday a total of $7 million in available funding under the Growing Apprenticeship In Nontraditional Sectors, Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education and Youth Transitions to Work grant programs.
These programs are part of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that seeks to help all New Jerseyans cultivate careers across a wide range of employers by supporting the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state.
Here’s a look at the three programs:
- GAINS: The GAINS grant program, with an available $4 million, promotes expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and advanced credential attainment. The program seeks to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs, create registered apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries, and bolster workers and businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — such as the health care industry. Currently, more than half of GAINS apprentices are in the health care sector. A particular focus of GAINS grants is supporting underrepresented populations. The program has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color. More than two-thirds of GAINS participants are females or minorities, which is twice the average among all apprenticeship programs in the state. The GAINS program has doubled the number of women in Registered Apprenticeships throughout the state.
- PACE: The PACE grant program has $1.5 million available to support pre-apprenticeship programs that provide education and training to prepare participants for either placement into a Registered Apprenticeship program, a post-secondary college or occupation-specific career training program, or the workforce. In partnership with a Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor, these programs expand career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction, leading to better-paying positions and advanced credentials. PACE programs provide tools such as job readiness, essential skills and occupation-specific training. In addition, PACE funding can be used to offer stipends to participants to offset costs of supportive services, such as child care and transportation, and can also be used to support the attainment of a high school equivalency diploma or GED.
- YTTW: Another $1.5 million is available through the YTTW program to recruit, screen and facilitate effective transitions of young people between the ages of 16 and 24, including high school juniors and seniors and out-of-school youth, to high-skill, high-wage employment in labor-demand occupations, with long-term career potential and opportunities for occupationally-relevant lifelong learning. Funding is being made available to accomplish goals including, but not limited to, increasing the number of high school graduates entering Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey and establishing YTTW programs in new apprenticeship occupations or industries.
The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development will be holding technical assistance workshops for GAINS on May 11, PACE on May 12 and YTTW on May 13. For complete information on each grant, including important deadlines, click here.
For more information on the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship, click here.
Apprenticeships have been a key part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s plans to grow an innovative economy. Since Murphy took office in January 2018, the state has seen increases of up to 92% in new Registered Apprenticeship programs.
“These grant programs are key to facilitating apprenticeships on behalf of workers eager to gain new skills and build meaningful careers,” Murphy said. “Investments in our apprenticeship programs represent investments in our workforce and our economy that will continue to benefit our state for years to come.”