The N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s office of apprenticeship has announced $5 million in available funding through the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors grant program.
The GAINS grant program promotes expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved registered apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and the attainment of advanced credentials. 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.
N.J. Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said the potential for impact is large.
“With thousands of participating employers in hundreds of occupations, apprenticeship is developing a new generation of workers who can help New Jersey’s economy continue to thrive,” he said. “Apprenticeship programs also help participating businesses meet the increasing demand for a specialized workforce.”
This competitive grant opportunity is open to the following entities who are developing new, or building upon existing, Registered Apprenticeship programs:
· Any employer
· Employer /Trade Associations
· Any labor organization that represents workers in the occupation for which the apprentices will be trained
· Labor/Management Partnership (public or private)
· New Jersey Local Education Agency (LEA)
· Public vocational schools within New Jersey
· Two- and four-year institutions of higher education
· Public or private non-profit organizations (including community-based organizations)
· Business or trade organizations representing a particular trade, group of trades, contractors or employers
· Community-based organizations
· New Jersey local Workforce Development Boards
· Economic development organizations
· Workforce intermediary sponsors
The GAINS grant is part of Governor Murphy’s New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that seeks to make the Garden State a leader for apprenticeship programs nationwide and provide options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers.
During the Murphy administration, New Jersey has created 613 new Registered Apprenticeship programs – a 100 percent increase – and on-boarded 16,750 new apprentices. The state currently has 8,757 active apprentices in 1,224 registered programs.
GAINS grantee Shari Franey, chief operating officer of Hamilton-Ryker TalentGro, said a GAINS grant was huge for her company as it enabled it to increase the number of registered apprentices in New Jersey by 70 individuals, the majority of whom are members of disadvantaged classes.
“Our goal is that through these efforts, employers will discover the benefits of registered apprenticeship,” she said.
Proposals must provide new apprentices with a starting wage of at least $17 per hour unless a lower rate is justified. GAINS funding can be used to reimburse up to 50 percent of new apprentices’ wages for a maximum of $12,000 per apprentice over 52 work weeks.
Key dates for Gains
Nov. 20 (1 p.m.): Virtual technical assistance workshop (pre-registration required at least one business day prior to workshop date; applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.) Register here.
Dec. 1 (noon): Letter of Intent
Dec. 8 (noon): Application due
For more information, click here.