NJDOL Awards $7.9 Million to Bolster Apprenticeship Programs

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has just awarded $7.9 million through the Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) and Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) grant programs. Both programs seek to create and expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs throughout the state of New Jersey. 

These awards come as a continuation of the over $60 million that has been invested into the development of work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programs since Governor Murphy took office in 2018. Put together, this investment has led to the creation of 678 new Registered Apprenticeship programs and has enabled the onboarding of 17,454 new apprentices for a total of 8,611 active apprentices in 1289 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.” 


The GAINS program seeks to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs and create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries. At the time of writing, the program has awarded a total of $5 million to 13 grantees, with the expectation of placing 1,018 new apprentices into high-growth fields such as cryogenics, wastewater treatment, robotics, and more.

GAINS is particularly notable for its focus on equality of opportunity, upward mobility, and economic fairness. This primarily shows itself in the incredible opportunities provided for women and people of color, with over two-thirds of GAINS grantees being women or minorities. Women account for about half of GAINS apprentices, over five times the state average, and the program as a whole has more than doubled the number of women enrolled in Registered Apprenticeship programs in New Jersey.


PACE was developed primarily to alleviate economic barriers that hinder upskilling. As a result, PACE programs promote 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. 

As Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, President of the County College of Morris, a PACE grantee, put it: “Receiving the Department of Labor PACE grant positive 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 with the aim of preparing participants for placement into a either a Registered Apprenticeship program, post-secondary college or an occupation-specific career training program, or directly into the workforce. PACE programs must be partnered with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program partner.

Together, both the GAINS and the PACE programs, newly bolstered by the $7.9 million grant from the NJDOL, expand career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction, leading to better-paying positions and increased upward mobility for the workforce of New Jersey as a whole. 

Click here for the complete lists of the most recent GAINS and PACE grantees.

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