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NJDOL Awards Nearly $8 Million in Grants to Support Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Since Governor Murphy took office in 2018, the state has invested approximately $60 million through grant programs to create and develop work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programs across the state. This has supported the creation of 678 new Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey – a more than 100 percent increase – and enabled 17,454 new apprentices to be onboarded. The state currently has 8,611 active apprentices in 1,289 programs.

“Apprenticeship programs are a win-win for businesses and their workforces,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Through these programs, employers can build lasting talent pipelines and shape the skilled employees they need to stay competitive, while workers earn a wage along with acquiring advanced training to boost their careers.”


A total of $5 million has been awarded to 13 grantees through the GAINS program, with the expectation of placing 1,018 new apprentices in occupations such as cryogenics mechanical technician, K-12 teacher apprentice, wastewater treatment plant operator, robotics technician, and more.

The GAINS program develops new and existing apprenticeship programs and creates Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries, with a focus on equality of opportunity, upward mobility, and economic fairness.

“We are absolutely thrilled and deeply grateful to be an awardee of the 2024 GAINS grant,” said Gabriela Timothy, founder and CEO of Learned Potential LLC, a recent GAINS grantee. “This incredible opportunity will propel us closer to our mission of empowerment through education. With this grant, we can establish our Teacher Apprenticeship program and hire a dedicated team to ensure its successful launch and implementation.”

GAINS has provided unprecedented opportunities for women and people of color, with more than two-thirds of GAINS grantees being women or minorities. Women account for about half of GAINS apprentices, greater than five times the statewide average. The GAINS program alone has more than doubled the number of women enrolled in Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey.


The PACE program has granted just over $2.9 million to eight awardees to place 470 pre-apprentices in occupations including home health care, massage therapy, advanced manufacturing, and fiber optics, among others.

PACE was developed primarily to alleviate economic barriers that hinder upskilling. Programs provide job readiness, essential skills, and occupation-specific training, and funding can be used to offer stipends to offset costs of supportive services, such as childcare and transportation.

Noted by Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, President of the County College of Morris, a PACE grantee: “Receiving the Department of Labor PACE grant positively impacts our students, manufacturing partners, the college, and the communities we serve. We are grateful to provide students with opportunities to be educated and trained in manufacturing, develop their resumes through apprenticeship programs, and be placed in jobs earning family sustaining wages.”

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.

I’ve had my dream job of waking up with all the great listeners and members of Brookdale Public Radio since January 3, 2005. Prior to this job, I began my career in radio at NJ 101.5 FM as a producer. From there, I took time off from radio to do other things. (including becoming a mom!)