Nov. 14-20 is National Apprenticeship Week!


November 14-20 is National Apprenticeship Week! 

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is celebrating alongside business, trade, educational, and vocational organizations. The Department’s leaders are attending events with the Ironworkers Local 399, New Jersey Healthcare Employers District 1199J Training and Development Fund, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 59, Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions, the New Jersey Community College Consortium, Viking Yacht Co./Egg Harbor School District, and the Hunterdon County Vocational School District.

Apprenticeship programs play a critical role in the strength of our state’s workforce and have consistently proven to be a vital solution to developing talent in areas where we need it most,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Apprentices can be found in virtually any realm, from HVAC to human resources, from the pharmacy to fusion energy research, and so many more.”

NJDOL also announced the availability of $2 million through the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) grant program.

NJDOL’s Office of Apprenticeship will host remote technical assistance workshops on November 18 and 29 to provide guidance to potential applicants. A letter of intent is due December 30, and the application deadline is January 6, 2023.

For more information on the program, please see below, and read the full Notice of Grant Opportunity here.

The PACE program has allowed us to train, mentor, and place New Jersey residents into federal healthcare apprenticeships, including out-of-school youth, adults and incumbent workers looking to enter nursing, one of the state's high-growth industries,” said Dr. Stephanie Harris-Kuiper, Executive Director of New Jersey Health Care Employers, District 1199J’s Training and Development Fund, a PACE grantee. “The real advantage of the PACE program is its ability to both help employers meet their hiring demands and service the community at large with vital and effective healthcare training."

PACE students have helped us maintain staffing levels at a very critical time,” said Jennifer Lemonds, Director of Human Resources at Daughters of Israel, a West Orange nursing facility and PACE employer partner through District 1199J. “The students come work-ready and we have hired them across a variety of shifts to help meet staffing mandates. The PACE program helps maintain critical certified nursing assistant training and recruits new talent into the industry. It is a vital program and must be well supported going forward."

Catherine Frugé Starghill, Executive Director of PACE grantee the New Jersey Community College Consortium (NJCCC) for Workforce and Economic Development, said: “The New Jersey Pre-Apprenticeships in Career Education program is an impactful training opportunity that provides education and career pathways to students and adult learners before they enter registered apprenticeships, attend institutions of higher education, or enter the workforce. With the generous grant funding for this program, New Jersey Community Colleges have provided manufacturing and healthcare industry credentials to participants and are pleased to partner with the New Jersey Department of Labor in this critically important work.”

Rosario Viizzari, CEO of Ramsey’s Wythe Windows and PACE partner employer with NJCCC, added: “Wythe Windows is very pleased to partner with Bergen Community College with the advanced manufacturing pre-apprenticeship. This program is helping us fulfill our workforce shortage needs and it’s also helpful that the pre-apprentices we hire come with basic machining skills because of the training they receive at the college. We look forward to hiring more students in the future.”

In Fiscal Year 2022, NJDOL distributed $6,749,000 through three grant programs that support the growth of Registered Apprenticeships across the state.

The individual grant funds and the totals distributed through each program are:

  • Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE), which was awarded $1,078,000;
  • Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS), which awarded $4,636,000;
  • and Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW), which awarded $1,034,000.

In total, 24 contracts were awarded under these programs, contributing to the recruitment of 1,214 apprentices.

These three grants, which are also funded for Fiscal Year 2023, are part of a suite of apprenticeship programs under the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that positions the Garden State as a leader for apprenticeship programs nationwide and provides options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers.

Since 2018, 542 new Registered Apprenticeship programs have been created in New Jersey – an 89% increase – and 12,442 new apprentices have been on-boarded. The state currently has more than 8,200 active apprentices in 1,153 programs.

Notably, since 2018, apprenticeship grant programs funded by the State have more than doubled the number of women enrolled in Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey.

The Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE)
program was developed primarily to help alleviate economic barriers that hinder upskilling. PACE programs provide job readiness, essential skills, and occupation-specific training, and funding can be used to offer stipends to offset the costs of supportive services, such as childcare and transportation.

Pre-apprenticeship programs funded through PACE provide education and training to prepare participants for placement into a Registered Apprenticeship program, into a post-secondary college or 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. Programs funded in FY22 span a variety of sectors, including health care, practical nursing, and truck driving.

The Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) program promotes the expansion of United States Department of Labor (USDOL) approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support gainful 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. Currently, more than half of GAINS apprentices are in the healthcare sector.

The GAINS grant program has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color, with more than two-thirds of GAINS grantees being women or minorities, which is twice the average among all apprenticeship programs in the state. Women account for about half of GAINS apprentices, greater than five times the statewide average.

Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW) recruits, screens, and facilitates effective transitions of high school juniors, seniors, and out-of-school youth (ages 16-24) to high-skill, high-wage employment in labor-demand occupations, with long-term career potential and opportunities for occupationally relevant lifelong learning, thereby motivating youth to achieve greater success in secondary and post-secondary education.

YTTW establishes programs in new apprenticeship occupations or industries, links secondary and higher educational institutions to existing USDOL apprenticeship programs, reactivates registered programs not currently in use, and increases the number of high school graduates entering Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey. Funded programs have included culinary arts, construction trades, Certified Nursing Assistants, physical therapist aides, diesel mechanics, stagehand technicians, and carpenters.

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*The 2022 Local News Fund is a program administered by the Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Local Media Association. The program’s purpose is to allow independent and family-owned news organizations to solicit tax-deductible donations from their communities for journalism projects focusing on critical local issues. Contributions to this program are tax-deductible to the full extent of U.S. law; please consult a tax advisor for details.

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