Legislation aimed at boosting apprenticeship programs continues to quietly advance in the Legislature, with the Assembly Labor Committee releasing four bills to increase the number of program and the people participating in them.
NJBIA supports all four bills. As Vice President for Government Affairs Mike Wallace explains, the association sees apprenticeships as an important part of the long-term goal to have a pool of skilled workers available to New Jersey businesses.
“With New Jersey’s April unemployment rate at 4.1%, the demand for workers by New Jersey businesses continues to outpace the supply,” Wallace said. “But even before this labor shortage, employers were struggling to find workers with the right skills for the jobs they needed to fill. Apprenticeships are a great way to fill that demand because employers play such an integral role in the education process.”
Under such a program, employers provide students with work experience at their workplace in the students’ chosen field, combining classroom learning with hands-on application.
The four bills released by the Labor Committee today are:
- A-4655/S-3063 – Provides tuition fee waiver apprenticeship courses.
- A-4656/S-3064 – Establishes task force to develop a statewide plan to diversify apprenticeships.
- A-4604/S-3066 – Creates five-year High-Growth Industry Regional Apprenticeship Development Grant Pilot Program.
- A-4829/S-3068 – Requires Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to establish apprenticeship mentoring program for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.
All four measures have already passed the Senate.