Governor Murphy has awarded $2.8 million in grant money to 7 businesses and higher education institutions for apprentice training programs.

During a visit to Avenel, Murphy said the funding, through the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Growing Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Sectors program, will help 480 apprentices to be trained and find employment over the next year.

The governor said the grants will support a wide range of programs, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, software development, clean energy utilities and healthcare.

"These are careers that can pay well, with the potential of individuals to earn $50,000 a year within a very short amount of time, and up to $100,000 a year," Murphy said.

Apprenticeship programs will train machinists, skilled tradesmen, tool and die makers, medical and lab techs, chemical techs, human resources staff and auto technicians.

"Right now there is a national shortage of certified techs and mechanics, a gap that’s expected to balloon to 25,000 over the next few years," Murphy said.

He said giving New Jerseyans the opportunity to train to fill these jobs makes sense.

"Make no mistake, as cars get more technologically advanced the workforce needed to keep them on the road must become more advanced as well," Murphy said.

He said the idea is to help Jersey residents get trained for many different in-demand jobs.

Murphy said this is part of an overall effort to "rebuild and strengthen New Jersey’s middle class, and a strong middle class as we all know is the bedrock of our state’s economy."

The grants range from $24,000 to nearly $1 million.

The announcement was made at Sansone Auto Mall, which is receiving $440,000 for its automotive technician and diesel mechanic training program.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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