NJDOL Announces $6.5 Million in Apprenticeship Grants
TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) announced a total of $6.5 million in funding available through Growing Learning in Non-Traditional Industries (GAINS ) and the New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Workplace Diversity (NJBUILD) Women and Minorities Grant programs for veterans of the construction trades to support the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state.
Shortly after taking office, Governor Murphy signaled his commitment to expanding apprenticeship programs in the Garden State with his creation of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network. Since the Governor took office in January 2018, the state has seen increases of up to 92% in new registered apprenticeship programs.
“Apprenticeships are key to developing our workforce and enabling participants to develop the skills they need to gain meaningful employment,” Governor Murphy said. “By creating invaluable opportunities for the underserved, the learnings facilitated by these grant programs make our state stronger and fairer – bolstering my administration’s efforts to make New Jersey a state of opportunity for all.”
“The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and minority workers, who were already disadvantaged, and the GAINS and NJBUILD programs have a strong history of uplifting these populations,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “I am grateful for the Governor’s continued investment as we continue to develop the skills and talents of our workforce with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, preparing our workers to jobs in demand as we recover to an even stronger and more resilient New Jersey than ever.
The GAINS grant program, with $3.5 million available, promotes the expansion of registered apprenticeship programs approved by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to support higher-paying careers and the achievement of advanced degrees. The program aims to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs, create registered apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries, and promote equal opportunity, upward mobility, and economic equity.
The GAINS program has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color. More than two-thirds of GAINS participants are women or minorities, twice the average for all state apprenticeship programs. Women make up 67% of GAINS apprentices, more than seven times the statewide average of female apprentices when Governor Murphy took office in January 2018. The GAINS program has doubled the number of women in registered apprenticeships throughout the state.
Funding from the previous round of GAINS grants was awarded to five grantees to onboard 187 apprentices into professions such as nurse aide, cook, heating and air conditioning installers, truck drivers, laboratory technicians and the medical assistant – among others. Currently, more than half of GAINS apprentices work in the health sector.
“Through the GAINS grant, we were able to support 14 hospitals across the state. This grant has helped us ensure a smooth transition into practice for new nurse graduates in New Jersey,” said Dr. Edna Cadmus, executive director of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing and clinical professor at Rutgers University School of Nursing, recipient of a previous round of GAINS funding. “New nurses felt supported during a turbulent time in health care.”
A nurse participating in the GAINS-funded program said in a survey, “I’m so excited to be part of this program. I can’t wait for this to help me grow and become the best nurse I can be.
With $3 million available, the NJBUILD Women and Minority Veterans in Construction Trades program aims to connect National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active duty military to quality career and training opportunities in the construction trades. building and construction industry, and to remove associated economic barriers by investing in skills training and work readiness. The program provides women and minority veterans with the training necessary for employment and/or placement in registered apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades or other industry occupations, as well as quality support services to ensure a successful placement.
“The NJBUILD program offers women and minority veterans incredible opportunities to receive training through world-class apprenticeship programs, obtaining a technologically advanced education that can lead to professional licenses, certifications and jobs. highly skilled and remunerative construction workers”, said Bill Mullen, president of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, which received funding through a previous round of NJBUILD grants. “Being tuition-free, the program is a valuable pathway to the salaries, health care, and family-supportive retirement benefits our veterans deserve.
NJDOL will hold technical assistance workshops for GAINS on September 27 and October 5, and for NJBUILD on October 4. Applications for both grants are due October 28. For complete information on each grant, including how to register for technical assistance workshops and other important deadlines, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/labor/research-info/grants.shtml
For more information on the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/labor/career-services/apprenticeship/index.shtml
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