NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced $3 million in available grant funding under the NJ Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education (NJ PLACE 2.0) program to encourage the development of Degree Apprenticeship structures that integrate paid on-the-job learning with credit-bearing classroom education.
The Degree Apprenticeship model pairs apprenticeship partners with institutions of higher education to give student apprentices the opportunity to concurrently fulfill the requirements of a Registered Apprenticeship program and an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree by earning credit for paid work-based learning. The NJ PLACE 2.0 grant also encourages institutions of higher education to conduct prior learning assessments for students who have already completed a Registered Apprenticeship program and award college credits retroactively.
“Building a stronger, fairer, and more resilient New Jersey begins with job training and workforce development,” said Governor Murphy. “NJ PLACE 2.0 is one of the many programs that will spark our economic recovery, providing thousands of residents with the education and resources they need to secure good-paying jobs while supporting employers who need to be connected to skilled talent.”
Degree Apprenticeship programs developed under the NJ PLACE 2.0 grant allow student apprentices to earn college credits and an apprentice wage at the same time – thus removing the difficult choice between working to support themselves or attending classes to further their career. A Degree Apprenticeship program draws a direct line from the classroom to a career.
“Apprenticeship and a post-secondary education are not mutually exclusive,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “When completed together, student apprentices can achieve both the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to give them a competitive edge in a continuously evolving workforce.”
“We remain committed to achieving our educational attainment goal of 65 percent of adults earning a high-quality degree or credential by 2025. It is critically important to ensure viable career pathways remain available for students during this uncertain time,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education. “Through this grant funding, students will be offered access to experiential learning opportunities that will match their talent to industry needs and equip them to succeed well into the future.”
NJ PLACE was first developed in 2004 to remove barriers between the academic content of vocational education and other forms of postsecondary education, and, in January 2010, the state Legislature formally established NJ PLACE under the NJDOL.
NJ PLACE 2.0 was launched last year as part of Governor Murphy’s JobsNJ initiative, a talent-focused economic development strategy to help re-establish New Jersey’s leadership in the innovation economy. NJ PLACE 2.0 affords colleges and students even more options to integrate work-based learning with post-secondary education.
Applicants interested in applying for the NJ PLACE 2.0 program must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to express interest in the grant opportunity no later than noon, April 16, and applications must be received no later than noon, April 23. Partnership between employer partner and degree granting post-secondary institution applicants are required.
Grant funds are intended to cover direct costs of the Degree Apprenticeship program. Proposals that plan to reduce tuition costs for student apprentices will receive greater consideration.
The NJDOL’s Office of Apprenticeship will host remote technical assistance workshops on March 23 and March 30 to provide guidance to interested parties who meet the application requirements of the NGO. Pre-registration three business days prior is required. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/njplace-20-fy21-technical-assistance-workshop-tickets-142955847789
For more information, click here.