DOL awards nearly $3M in grants to bolster apprenticeship programs

7 businesses, organizations get funding under the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors program

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced last week that it has awarded a total of nearly $3 million in funding to seven businesses and organizations under the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors grant program.

The GAINS grant program supports the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state — and is part of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that seeks to help all New Jerseyans cultivate careers across a wide range of employers.

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo was thrilled to make the announcement.

“Apprenticeship has proven to be a valuable tool for building talent pipelines in any occupation, and we’re thrilled the state’s continued investments in this earn-while-you-learn model can assist our employers develop the skilled workforce they need,” he said.

“We’re proud to partner with our grantees, who have clearly demonstrated their commitment to providing the best opportunities for their workers.”

About apprenticeship programs

Gov. Phil Murphy established the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network soon after taking office to grow apprenticeship programs in New Jersey and make the Garden State a leader for apprenticeship programs nationwide. Since Murphy took office in January 2018, New Jersey has added 563 Registered Apprenticeship programs, a 92% increase statewide. There are currently more than 8,300 active apprentices in over 1,100 programs throughout the state.

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The GAINS grant program 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 and create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries. The particular focus of GAINS grants is to promote equality of opportunity, upward mobility and economic fairness.

Steve Cowley, the director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and a GAINS grantee, said the program has great impact.

“Our apprentices are an enormous benefit to our lab, the state and the nation,” he said. “Working on fusion energy, the ultimate clean energy source, requires a diverse range of skills, which our apprentices uniquely possess. They bring vitality to the Lab while also being an investment in the future. I’m proud they are a part of our community and that PPPL is contributing to New Jersey’s innovation economy.”

Chris Capobianco, the director of training of GAINS recipient Home Instead in Millburn, agreed.

“With the rise of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the demand for well-trained home health aides has never been greater,” he said. “The GAINS grant helps us attract, develop and retain top talent at a time when the homecare industry is experiencing an unpreceded staffing shortage.”

The Fiscal Year 2023 GAINS awardees:

  • Hand in Hand Healthcare Solution (community health workers): $660,000 (55 apprentices);
  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Services (Registered Nurse residency): $631,285 (475);
  • Voyagers School (cosmetologists, massage therapists): $584,650 (50);
  • Home Instead (home health aides): $559,400 (60);
  • J. Teamsters (truck drivers): $266,044 (24);
  • IUOE Local 825 (operating engineers): $204,200 (50);
  • Trustees of Princeton University (maintenance): $26,778 (5).

Previous funding from FY22 GAINS grants was awarded to 16 applicants to onboard more than 900 apprentices in occupations such as Registered Nurse residency, water and wastewater treatment plant operator, cybersecurity support technician, cook, heating and air conditioning installer, laboratory technician, medical assistant and medical secretary.