Advancing further steps to spur growth and prepare New Jersey’s workforce for the 21st century economy, Gov. Phil Murphy announced his vision for the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network (NJAN), a proposal included in his Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
The Governor made the announcement during remarks at The Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative’s conference at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
The Apprenticeship Network will include:
- Establishing an Office of Apprenticeships in the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development to serve as a single contact for both employers and potential apprentices. The office will be charged with developing new programs through a new Apprenticeship Innovation Fund and to facilitate interactions both at the federal Department of Labor and across industries;
- Focusing on high-growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, clean energy and utilities, IT and software, and health care, and creating demand-driven training widely applicable across these sectors’ employers;
- Creating formal linkages to the K-12 and higher education systems so that more New Jerseyans receive advanced degrees and students have career-focused options. These include the reinvigoration of the NJPLACE program to help apprentices earn college credits, and robust career counseling for middle and high school students to increase diversity in apprenticeship programs and in their target industries.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education will lead the buildout of this Network. The Governor also announced the launch of a new website – nj.gov/apprenticeships – which will allow educators and employers to sign up as partners in the effort.
“Governor Murphy is quickly becoming a national leader on apprenticeship with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network and his innovative approach to expanding access to this high quality ‘earn and learn’ model,” said Mary Alice McCarthy, Director, Center on Education & Skills, New America. “The Network builds on the state’s long tradition with apprenticeship while also laying out concrete steps for extending it into new industry sectors and connecting it with high schools, colleges, and great jobs. Workers, students, and employers from across the state will all reap the rewards.”
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