New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) Awarded $600,000 to Start the Pro-Action Education Network Apprenticeship Program

The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) is awarded $600,000 from the State through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) Growing Apprenticeships in New Sectors (GAINS) grant to start and support the Pro-Action Education NetworkTM Apprenticeship Program.  NJMEP is looking forward to additional work that will allow them to top $2 million in Apprenticeship spending over the next three years.

NJMEP will use NJLWD GAINS funding to scale apprenticeships in high-demand, high growth occupations, serve approximately 170 apprentices and 139 manufacturing companies over a three-year funding period.  The proposed project will scale existing and grow new apprentices in two industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation, Logistics and Distribution (TLD).  NJMEP will expand immediately into three registered apprenticeship programs approved or under final review by USDOL:

  • Industrial Production Technician
  • Technical Sales
  • Certified Logistics & Control Technician

They will also facilitate approval of at least two additional registered apprenticeships in Computer Numerical Control (CNC), and Food Production Safety. 

The apprenticeship program at NJMEP is led by Torsten Schimanksi, Apprenticeship Program Manager, and Patricia Moran, Ph.D., Director of Apprenticeships.  “This will now allow us to expand apprenticeships programs within the critical Manufacturing and TLD Sectors with an initial focus on Trenton, Newark & Paterson.” “We will be able to offer opportunities and up-skill those already employed in these industries to bolster the sector’s competiveness,” said Patricia Moran.

These apprenticeships correspond with in-demand industry occupations, and represent career pathways with connections to existing or emerging education and training offerings and pre-apprenticeship programs. 

“NJMEP is honored to have this opportunity and extremely thankful to the NJLWD, Bi-Partisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, Governor Murphy and NIST-MEP; as  apprenticeships are a key element in the State’s agenda to help close the skills gap,  revitalize manufacturing and increase the State’s supply chain competitiveness,” said John W. Kennedy, Ph.D, CEO, NJMEP.

NJMEP will be using the Pro-Action Education NetworkTM model relevant for scaling apprenticeships with a consortium-based approach (i.e., pool demand from multiple companies).  The Pro-Action Education NetworkTM model leverages NJMEP’s unique market position as an intermediary organization in the state and national manufacturing ecosystem.  The model increases the robustness of NJLWD’s manufacturing sector-based workforce development strategies as a result of access to NJMEP’s existing customer base, reputation as a trusted advisor, market intelligence, role in facilitating NJLWD Industry Partnerships, and performance-based approach using National MEP Network metrics.  The Pro-Action Education NetworkTM model is also a scalable, sustainable, and industry-responsive system.

NJMEP is bridging the two critical worlds of education and work, and is fostering the foundation for individuals to evolve into successful manufacturing careers with Apprenticeship programs.  “We are thrilled to be recognized as a leader in this area. The Pro-Action Education NetworkTM Apprenticeship Program will serve as a catalyst to create job opportunities and career pathways for those entering into and those seeking career advancement in manufacturing and TLD professions,” said John W. Kennedy, Ph.D, CEO, NJMEP.   “NJMEP has the unique ability to ensure programmatic success of this apprenticeship initiative with our strong understanding of workforce needs, labor markets, and curricula development and credentialing/certification along with our wide-reaching networks that cut across manufacturing and TLD occupations and industry,” adds Kennedy.

NJTV also attended the press conference and interviewed NJMEP CEO John W. Kennedy.

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