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The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has awarded almost $3 million to eight businesses and organizations under the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant program.

GAINS, which supports the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state, is part of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network – an initiative that seeks to help all New Jerseyans cultivate careers across a wide range of employers.

“Apprenticeship has proven to be a valuable tool for building talent pipelines in any occupation, and we’re thrilled the state’s continued investments in this earn-while-you-learn model can assist our employers develop the skilled workforce they need,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

“We’re proud to partner with our grantees, who have clearly demonstrated their commitment to providing the best opportunities for their workers,” he said.

The GAINS grant program promotes expansion of U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) approved registered apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and advanced credential attainment. The program seeks to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs and create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries. The particular focus of GAINS grants is to promote equality of opportunity, upward mobility, and economic fairness.

“Our apprentices are an enormous benefit to our Lab, the state, and the nation,” said Steve Cowley, director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a GAINS grantee and NJBIA member.

“Working on fusion energy, the ultimate clean energy source, requires a diverse range of skills, which our apprentices uniquely possess,” Cowley said. “They bring vitality to the Lab while also being an investment in the future.”

NJBIA strongly supports apprenticeships because they provide employers with the skilled workforce they need. “Apprenticeships are an important part of New Jersey’s workforce development pipeline and NJBIA is happy to see them grow through these grants,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey.

The rise of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has greatly increased the demand for well-trained certified home health aides, said Chris Capobianco, director of training for Home Instead in Millburn.

“The GAINS grant helps us attract, develop, and retain top talent at a time when the homecare industry is experiencing an unpreceded staffing shortage,” Capobianco said. “Ultimately, our comprehensive dementia training gives CHHAs the resources and necessary skills to manage this progressive and incurable disease.”

The eight apprenticeship grant recipients are:

  • Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences, $631,285 for registered nurse residencies for 475 apprenticeships
  • Princeton University, $26,778 for five apprenticeships in plumbing; electrical maintenance; cybersecurity; quality control inspector; and safety technician
  • Hand in Hand Healthcare Solutions LLC, $660,000 to train 55 apprentices to become community health workers; certified nursing assistants; home health aides; medical assistants; pharmacy support staff; and peer support specialists
  • Baron-Queen Inc. (doing business as Home Instead of Millburn), $599,400 for 60 apprenticeships to train certified home health aides
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 in Middlesex County, which received $204,200 for 50 apprentices training to become operating engineers
  • Voyagers Community School in Monmouth County, $11,986 for five apprenticeships to train associate preschool teachers
  • Marco Region Management LLC, which received $584,650 for 50 apprenticeships to train
    hair stylists, certified massage therapists and estheticians
  • NJ Teamsters Apprenticeship and Training Fund, which received $266,044 for 24 apprenticeships to train heavy truck drivers.

Previous funding from FY 2022 GAINS grants was awarded to 16 applicants to onboard more than 900 apprentices in occupations such as registered nurse residency, water and wastewater treatment plant operator, cybersecurity support technician, cook, heating and air-conditioning installers, laboratory technician, medical assistant, and medical secretary – among others.  Since 2018, New Jersey has added 563 registered apprenticeship programs, a 92%  increase statewide. There are currently more than 8,300 active apprentices in over 1,100 programs throughout the state. 

 For more information on the New Jersey Office of Apprenticeship, go here.