NJDOL to award $3M in apprenticeship training grants 

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced $3 million is available in a second round of grant funding through the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education training program.

The first round of $2 million for the current fiscal year was released in November 2022.

The PACE program was developed primarily to alleviate economic barriers that hinder upskilling. PACE programs provide job readiness, essential skills and occupation-specific training, with funding that can be used to offset participants’ related costs, such as child care and transportation.

“Apprenticeship is a strong stepping stone for anyone starting out in the workforce or changing their career path, and we want to ensure everyone gets a fair shot at these opportunities,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “Eliminating common obstacles to job training can have an enormous impact in leading an individual to gainful employment, and the stability, dignity and self-sufficiency that comes with it.

The first round of Fiscal Year 2023 PACE awardees are listed below:

  • Egg Harbor Twp. School District, $576,158;
  • Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest Inc., $480,000;
  • Baron-Queen Inc., $410,259;
  • Team Walker Inc., $360,000;
  • N.J. District of Roofers Pre-Apprenticeship Program, $299,998;
  • Ideal Institute of Technology, $291,241;
  • N.J. Health Care Employers 1199J, $247,000;
  • Hunterdon County Vocational School District, $239,590;
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, $58,650.

The total amount awarded is just over $2.96 million.

Preapprenticeship programs funded through PACE prepare participants for placement into a registered apprenticeship program, a postsecondary college or an occupation-specific career training program, or into the workforce. PACE programs must be partnered with at least one registered apprenticeship program sponsor. Together, the programs expand career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction, leading to better-paying positions and advanced credentials.

“With the generous PACE grant, NPower has been able to make an even greater impact on New Jersey’s underserved community by training underresourced students in technology and placing them in apprenticeships and jobs that impact not only the life of the participant, but their family and community,” Helen Kogan, executive director of NPower New Jersey, a previous PACE grantee, said. “The NJDOL team continues to stand as a supportive resource and ally to the recipients of the PACE grant.”

PACE was developed by the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship, which is part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s New Jersey Apprenticeship Network initiative announced in March 2018.

During Murphy’s administration, the state has created 553 new Registered Apprenticeship programs — a 91% increase — and onboarded 13,626 new apprentices. The state currently has 8,256 active apprentices in 1,164 programs.