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The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced a second round of $4 million in available funding through the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant program.  

The first round of $3.5 million was released in September 2022. 

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, especially in high-growth industries. 

Employers, trade associations, labor unions, vo-tech schools, higher education institutions, workforce development boards, community organizations and similar groups are encouraged to apply. Applicants should keep the following key dates in mind. 

  • March 16, and March 24: Virtual technical assistance (TA) workshops will be held at 1 p.m. on both these dates. Pre-registration is required at least three business days prior to the workshop date. All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. 
  • April 6: Letter of Intent due by noon 
  • April 14: Application must be submitted by noon 

Proposals must provide new apprentices with a starting wage of no less than $16 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 work weeks. 

“The earn-while-you-learn model plays a critical role in developing trained and skilled workers where they’re needed most and removes the tough choice between learning new skills and earning a wage,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Apprenticeship programs provide workers with the stability of a fair wage during training and throughout their careers.” 

GAINS grants provide unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color, with more than two-thirds of GAINS grantees being females or minorities. Currently, more than half of GAINS apprentices are working in the healthcare sector. 

Previous GAINS grants have been awarded to eight applicants to onboard more than 700 apprentices in occupations such as nursing, plumbing, electrical maintenance, cybersecurity, community health, home health aide, pharmacy support, operating engineer, associate preschool teacher, hair stylist, massage therapist, and truck driver – among others.  

 View complete details and the full Notice of Grant Opportunity here. 

 Find more information on the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship website here.