Governor Phil Murphy has 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.
“New Jersey has some of the worst racial income and wealth disparities in the nation. We must expand access to economic mobility through jobs that pay a living wage and provide a career, including through apprenticeship programs. It is critical that we expand access to apprenticeships for women and people of color, who have been under-represented, particularly in high-growth, well-paying industries,” said Ryan Haygood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “We look forward to working with Governor Murphy to make New Jersey a national leader on apprenticeships through policies that expand access to women, people of color, and people who face barriers to employment, strengthen the connection between our education and workforce systems, and support our business community’s use of apprenticeships – particularly in new, high-growth industries.”
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.