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Committee passes bill waiving tuition for some students studying to enter workforce

NEW JERSEY – The Assembly Labor Committee on Monday cleared a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis to make apprenticeship programs more accessible for students earning less than the state’s median income.

“Apprenticeship programs allow students to earn industry-recognized credentials that lead to gainful employment, but paying for the education portion can be a barrier, especially in a state like New Jersey where a paycheck can only go so far,” Matsikoudis (R-Union) said. “Helping more students access these hands-on experiences will help businesses fill skilled roles and boost opportunities for residents.”

Under the assemblywoman’s bill (A513), colleges and schools offering the classroom component of a registered apprenticeship would waive the tuition for students who earn less than the median state income, which is currently $96,346 according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, and who don’t have those costs covered by an employer or financial aid. Students would also have to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

“This bill puts more students on a path to financial freedom while also allowing employers to develop a pipeline of qualified workers,” Matsikoudis said. “There are rewarding apprenticeship opportunities in construction, cybersecurity, financial services, health care, logistics and so much more. Connecting students to those career paths will support New Jersey’s economy.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship’s latest data shows more than 9,000 active apprentices in New Jersey.

There were more than 1,600 different apprenticeship programs in New Jersey in 2021.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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