NJDOL announces $6M grant to support apprenticeship

On the heels of $7.9 million in grant funding awarded through the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors grant program and the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education grant program, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development Office of Apprenticeship has announced an additional $6 million in available funding through the GAINS grant program.

The GAINS grants promote the expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and the attainment of advanced credentials. A focus of GAINS grants is to promote equality of opportunity, upward mobility and economic fairness.

“Apprenticeship programs provide vital paths to successful careers, without requiring a four-year college degree, and strengthen the state’s economy by helping businesses meet the demand for skilled workers and workers meet the requirements for family-sustaining careers,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said.

This is the second round of funding for Fiscal Year 2024 and represents an $11 million investment in this grant program for the fiscal year, or more than double the roughly $5 million in funding allocated in FY23. Overall, more than $25 million in GAINS funding has been awarded in the six years of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.

The program seeks to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs and create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries.

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% of new apprentices’ wages for a maximum of $12,000 per apprentice over 52 workweeks.

This competitive grant opportunity is open to the following entities that are developing new or building upon existing Registered Apprenticeship programs:

  • Any employer;
  • Employer/trade associations;
  • Labor organizations that represent workers in the occupation in which the apprentices will be trained;
  • Labor/management partnerships (public or private);
  • New Jersey Local Education Agencies;
  • Public vocational schools in New Jersey;
  • Two- and four-year institutions of higher education;
  • Public and private nonprofit organizations;
  • Business or trade organizations representing a 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 Murphy’s New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that seeks to make the state a national leader for apprenticeship programs and provide options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers.