The German-American Chamber of Commerce is setting up shop at Montclair State University, where the organization will launch its joint program with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network—started with the support of Towaco-based Bäumer of America, manufacturer Arconic, the County College of Morris and Essex County College.
The GACC announcement was made at Montclair State on Thursday, where Gov. Phil Murphy also revealed additional workforce initiatives including the inaugural PACE grant recipients, opportunities for the second round of GAINS grants, and the first-ever ExPAND grant.
“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,” Murphy said, speaking in Monctlair.
Nine grantees – the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Raritan Valley Community College, Roofers Local #4, Urban League of Essex County, Mercer County Technical School, Middlesex County Vocational School District, Hunterdon County Vocational School District, New Jersey Reentry Corp. and Unite Here Local 54 – with approximately 526 participants, will receive more than $1.8 million via the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education, or PACE, program, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion through the hiring of underrepresented groups and groups that face economic barriers to career advancement.
PACE was launched by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development in January as New Jersey Apprenticeship Network’s first pre-apprenticeship initiative, the governor’s office said. It provides funding for programs offering stipends and support services, like child care or transportation, to participants.
“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.
LWD on Thursday also released two Notices of Grant Opportunities: the second Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors, or GAINS, grant and the first-ever Expanding Pre-Apprenticeships in a New Direction, ExPAND, grant.
The GAINS program released $3 million to support registered apprenticeships in high-growth industries, like IT, health care and advanced manufacturing. LWD will hold two workshops ahead of its application deadline of Nov. 29.
According to the Murphy administration, GAINS dispensed almost $5.8 million to support training for about 800 apprentices in Fiscal Year 2019.
ExPAND is the first apprenticeship-related grant fund from the current administration’s Department of Education. Supported by federal funding from the Perkins Leadership funds, the program will make six awards of $100,000 to one county vocational school and one comprehensive school district applicant in each of the North, Central and South regions of the state.
Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet described the ExPAND grant as new terrain for the department, saying the initiative would help to create a “pipeline of talent” for employers, while presenting students with career opportunities and the ability to prepare for them.