Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Advances Plans for New Jersey Apprenticeship Network to Spur Economic Development and Educational Attainment for New Jerseyans


NEW BRUNSWICK –Advancing further steps to spur growth and prepare New Jersey’s workforce for the 21st century economy, Governor Phil Murphy today 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.

“As United States Ambassador to Germany, I saw first-hand one of the world’s best models for technical education and training, a model which included apprenticeships, and how it was the backbone of a sustainable economy and strong, vibrant middle class,” said Governor Murphy. “Today, I’m pleased to detail the next steps for the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, an initiative that will transform the Garden State into a leader for state apprenticeship programs and will provide options for all New Jerseyans to build meaningful careers across a wide range of employers, including fields to bolster our innovation economy.”

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 – – 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.”

“New Jersey’s community colleges applaud Governor Murphy’s leadership for expanding career opportunities for New Jerseyans, and we welcome the opportunity to expand the role community colleges play in delivering apprenticeship programs and degree and certificate programs that lead directly to employment in New Jersey’s high-growth industry sectors,” said Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., president, New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is building a stronger, fairer economy,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “We are proud to support his vision and join with the New Jersey Apprentice Network to ensure our state has the well-trained, highly-skilled workforce it needs to create an affordable, reliable, clean energy future.”

“NPower is honored to partner with the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network on creating pathways to careers in technology. This forward-thinking apprenticeship model will expand the talent pool for much needed IT jobs around the state of New Jersey while also empowering veterans and young adults with the skills and credentials they need to start or enhance their careers,” said Bea Tassot, Executive Director of NPower New Jersey.

“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 Governor’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 includes $10 million to support the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network. The New Jersey Apprenticeship Network will be funded from Workforce Development Partnership Fund (WDPF) administered by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Governor’s budget allocates $34.5 million currently in the WDPF toward new and expanded programs.