More than $8.6 million in grant funding has been awarded by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development to foster the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state and the development of training opportunities for minorities and women in construction and related trades.
“Apprenticeships play a vital role in cultivating our workforce and empowering participants to acquire the essential skills they need for securing rewarding employment,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “These grant programs allow apprenticeships that bring invaluable opportunities to underserved individuals, which in turn strengthens our state and promotes fairness. These efforts align with this administration’s steadfast commitment to transform New Jersey into a state of opportunity for all.”
A total of $1.9 million is being awarded to 10 grantees through the Growing Apprenticeship In Nontraditional Sectors program, or GAINS, with the expectation of placing 169 new apprentices in occupations such as electrician, roofer, plumber, behavioral health aid, hair stylist, cybersecurity analyst and more.More than $2.1 million is being granted through the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education, or PACE, program to seven awardees to place 242 apprentices in occupations including clinical medical assistant, operating engineer, supply chain manager and advanced manufacturing, among others.
Just above $4.5 million is being granted to nine awardees to bring on 352 apprentices through the New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity, or NJBUILD, Women and Minorities in Construction program in such occupations as HVAC, weatherization, fiber tech, lead abatement, green infrastructure, telecommunications, offshore wind, construction management and many more.
This program promotes outreach and occupational skills training such as pre-apprenticeship training, Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job-training for women and minorities, helping them gain workforce readiness and skills to enter a union apprenticeship or employment in a construction-related job with a pay rate of at least $15 per hour. It also assists public works contractors, businesses and trade unions in meeting their workforce needs, as well as provides reimbursement of wages and related costs.