Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Announces Workforce Initiatives to Bolster New Jersey’s Innovation Economy


MONTCLAIR – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the first-ever grant recipients for Fiscal Year 2019’s Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) program, as well as two Notices of Grant Opportunities (NGOs): the second Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant and the first-ever Expanding Pre-Apprenticeships in a New Direction (ExPAND) grant.

“Investing in our workforce is essential to creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all of our residents,” said Governor Murphy. “These new initiatives will continue our efforts to invest in our people by providing the necessary training and education to grow our middle class and reignite the innovation economy.” 

To prepare New Jerseyans to enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) launched the PACE Training Program in January. PACE is the New Jersey Apprentice Network’s first initiative for pre-apprenticeships, and it provides funding to programs to offer stipends to participants and access to supportive services like child care and transportation. PACE also promotes diversity and inclusion by encouraging the hiring of underrepresented groups, as well as groups facing economic barriers to career advancement.

The nine grantees were awarded over $1.8 million to serve approximately 526 participants.


Today LWD is also releasing a $3 million NGO for the GAINS program. The New Jersey Apprenticeship Network launched GAINS last fall to support Registered Apprenticeships in high-growth sectors like IT, health care, and advanced manufacturing. In FY19, GAINS distributed nearly $5.8 million that will support training for nearly 800 apprentices. To learn more information about GAINS, click here

Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) launched ExPAND, their first apprenticeship-related grant fund of this administration. This new program will provide opportunities to high school students to develop career focused competencies and skills in New Jersey’s key industries. DOE will make six $100,000 awards across North, Central, and South Jersey to one county vocational and one comprehensive school district applicant in each geographic region. DOE will distribute a total of $600,000 of Federal Perkins Leadership Funds. To learn more information about ExPAND, click here

These initiatives were announced at Montclair State University where the German-American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) announced the launch of its joint apprenticeship program with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network. Math for America (MfA) also held its first Summer Institute at the university for its New Jersey STEM Innovation Fellows program.

GACC, in partnership with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, launched an apprenticeship program with the support of Bäumer of America and Arconic, and the County College of Morris and Essex County College. This program will provide new educational pathways to support New Jersey residents and address highly-technical industry needs. 

Today also marked the first day of the NJ STEM Innovation Fellowship’s Summer Institute. This program was announced in January 2019 for public school elementary math teachers throughout New Jersey to help them learn about and implement innovative teaching practices to enhance students’ problem-solving skills. The institute will be followed by monthly workshops at MFA’s partners Montclair State University, Princeton University, and Rowan University.

“Our PACE program is a natural complement to our existing apprenticeship offerings, and these new partners will help us develop a rich pipeline of highly qualified and highly skilled individuals seeking placement in a Registered Apprenticeship program or other good, sustainable employment,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. “We are proud to welcome these new grantees, and soon, we’ll be onboarding another round of forward-thinking employers through our $3 million GAINS grant.”

“This is new terrain for the Department of Education, as the ExPAND grant would provide funding specifically for high schools to establish career-training programs that help students transition into Registered Apprenticeship programs after graduation,” said Dr. Lamont O. Repollet, Commissioner of Education. “These grants will develop a pipeline of talent that will benefit employers and provide students with the opportunity to prepare for a highly successful career.”

“We are delighted to support outstanding teachers by launching the New Jersey STEM Innovation Fellowship in partnership with leading universities,” said Dr. John Ewing, President of Math for America. “We hope this program will serve as a model for other states.”

“We are delighted to commemorate all of the developments that are impacting our future workforce. As industry continues to evolve in our highly technical economy, the role of apprenticeship is becoming apparent,” said President & CEO, Dietmar Rieg of the GACC NY.  “We are proud to partner with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, alongside other emerging apprenticeship programs to ensure we all can rise together.”