Gov. Phil Murphy has always said he was committed to growing apprenticeship programs in the Garden State with his creation of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network.
On Thursday, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced a total of $6.5 million in available in funding to foster the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state.
The monies are available under the Growing Apprenticeship In Nontraditional Sectors, or GAINS, and the New Jersey Builders’ Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity, or NJBUILD, Women and Minority Veterans in Construction Trades grant programs.
“Apprenticeships are critical to building our workforce and allowing participants to develop the skills they need to obtain meaningful employment,” Murphy said. “By creating invaluable opportunities for underserved individuals, the apprenticeships facilitated by these grant programs are making our state stronger and fairer — furthering my administration’s efforts to make New Jersey the state of opportunity for everyone.”
The GAINS program has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color. More than two-thirds of GAINS participants are women or minorities, which is twice the average among all apprenticeship programs in the state.
Women account for 67% of GAINS apprentices, greater than seven times the statewide average of female apprentices when Murphy took office in January 2018. Moreover, the GAINS program has doubled the number of women in Registered Apprenticeships throughout the state.
“The pandemic disproportionately impacted women and minority workers, who were already at a disadvantage, and both the GAINS and NJBUILD programs have a robust history of uplifting these populations,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo stated. “I am thankful for the governor’s continued investment as we continue to develop the skills and talents of our workforce with a focus on diversity, equity & inclusion, preparing our workers for in-demand jobs as we recover into an even stronger and more resilient New Jersey than ever.”
The GAINS grant program, with an available $3.5 million, promotes expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and advanced credential attainment. And, with $3 million available, the NJBUILD Women and Minority Veterans in Construction Trades program seeks to connect National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members to quality career and training opportunities in the building and construction industry, and to eliminate economic barriers associated with investing in skills training and work readiness.
NJDOL will be holding technical assistance workshops for GAINS on Tuesday and Oct. 5, and for NJBUILD on Oct. 4. Applications for both grants are due Oct. 28.
For complete information on each grant, including how to register for the technical assistance workshops and other important deadlines, please click here.