Apprenticeship in New Jersey

Posted by John Griffin - On January 17, 2012 (EST)

New Jersey


The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW) Program is funded by the Workforce Development Partnership (WDP) Act.  The YTTW Program was created by the WDP Act of 1992 and developed to provide greater opportunities and incentives for youths who have not sought college education or even completed high school.

The YTTW Program provides high school juniors and seniors with pre-Apprenticeship training and a structured work experience and continues the emphasis on school-based vocational/technical programs for entry-level skills.  The program facilitates effective transitions by youth to high-skill, high-wage employment in labor demand occupations that are apprenticeable.

Funding & Outcomes:

The State of New Jersey has invested $7,862,266 over the past four years to assist New Jersey’s youth into sustainable apprenticeship opportunities.

Fiscal Year 2009/ Fiscal Year 2010 total two year cycle:  $5,424,778 to fund 15 grants each fiscal year.

During this two year cycle, over 1,300 outreach sessions were conducted throughout the State with almost 13,000 students attending the outreach sessions.  Approximately 200 students each year were accepted into the YTTW program after a screening and interview process.

A total of 147 high school seniors were placed into union and non-union Registered Apprenticeship occupations/programs during the two year cycle.  An additional 31 students were placed into trade-related employment.   

Additional grant outcomes include 88 students receiving certifications aligned with their selected occupation (for example, OSHA10, OSHA30, SafeServ, and First Aid) and 46 students received college credits for completing various courses.

The goal of expanding apprenticeship in New Jersey was reached by the development of the Stage Technician, Plant Technician, & Certified Nursing Assistant registered apprenticeship programs.

Fiscal Year 2011/ Fiscal Year 2012 total two year cycle:  $2,437,882 to fund 8 grants each fiscal year.

During FY11, 170 outreach sessions were conducted throughout the State with over 3,000 students attending the sessions.  130 students were accepted into the YTTW program after a screening and interview process.

For this two year cycle, each grantee provided to the selected YTTW students a minimum of 20 hours of workforce readiness training, 60 hours of occupation-specific training and 10 hour of job shadowing experiences due to the additional requirement in the NGO issued by NJLWD.

At the end of the first cycle (10/31/11), a total of 67 high school seniors were placed into union and non-union Registered Apprenticeship programs and 6 students were placed into trade-related employment during the first year of the two year cycle. 

In addition, 42 students receiving certifications aligned with their selected occupation (for example, OSHA10, OSHA30, SafeServ, and First Aid) and 32 students received college credits for completing various courses.

The petition for a new apprenticeable occupation, Physical Therapist Assistant has been developed and submitted to USDOL’s National Office – Office of Apprenticeship for its consideration. 

Additional outcomes are expected by the end of the FY12 grant year (10/31/12) including an additional 80 students will be placed into Registered Apprenticeship occupations/programs.

Brief discussion provided by YTTW Grantee, New Jersey Healthcare Employers District 1199J (Group Joint Registered Apprenticeship Program) 


Youth Transitions to Work Certified Nursing Apprenticeship Program (YTTW)

The YTTW as it is known is managed by a small but dedicated staff at New Jersey Healthcare Employers, District 1199J’s Training and Development Fund in the heart of Newark, NJ and is made possible through a grant from The New Jersey Department of Labor Workforce Development. The scholarship covers the cost of over $8,000 in tuition and transportation fees as well as up to 12 credits of college coursework. Additionally, the cost of all certifications including Adult/Child First Aid and AED are paid for. The Programs are designed to lead high school graduates into high growth industries, and give students needed work readiness training, academic preparation, and valuable paid apprenticeship placements in specific high growth industry of Health Care. Additionally, the newly funded Physical Therapy Aide Program will allow the Fund to also offer the same opportunities to students interested in careers in Physical Therapy. 


NJ PLACE (a unique program in New Jersey):


NJ Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education.  A joint program of the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission (SETC) and Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD), & NJ PLACE helps the state’s workforce earn college credits for successfully completing a registered apprenticeship.  NJ’s Office of Apprenticeship staff partners with the SETC, NJLWD, & NJ PLACE serving on NJ PLACE’s Advisory Committee

With the cost of a college education steadily increasing, New Jersey students and workers have a unique opportunity to earn a college degree.  To qualify, individuals must currently be a USDOL/Office of Apprenticeship (OA) registered apprentice, or have recently completed a registered apprenticeship program in an occupation recognized by NJ PLACE.  

NJ PLACE is open to current and former registered apprentices who are pursuing careers such as automotive technician, carpenter, corrections officer, cook, electrician, HVAC and refrigeration service technician, insulator, ironworker, plumber, sheet metal worker, steamfitter, and more.  NJ PLACE helps apprenticeship sponsors undergo a formal college credit equivalency review of their program and uses the credit recommendations from the review to facilitate articulation agreements with the state’s community colleges.  The agreements allow courses an individual takes within an eligible registered apprenticeship program to transfer into credits towards earning a college degree.

NJ PLACE works closely with the state’s pre-apprenticeship initiative for “YOUTH”, working with the Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW) grantees.  YTTW program grantees in the automotive, building and construction, culinary, healthcare, and stage technician trades have partnered with NJ PLACE to link their registered apprenticeship training programs with a related associate degree pathway.  New efforts are underway to concurrently enroll YTTW participants in both their registered apprenticeship programs and community college classes, giving these young people immediate marketable technical skills in an occupation and the long-term career possibilities that a college degree opens up for the future.

NJ PLACE is administered by the Rutgers University College Community on behalf of the State. To find out more about NJ PLACE, please visit

NJLWD submits the following YTTW Success Stories (posted on NJLWD’s website)


Emilio Cano

Stage Technician Apprentice

Starting Wage:   $10.80 per hour

Wage Upon Completion of 3 Year Registered Apprenticeship Program:  $22.00 - $35.00 per hour

During Emilio Cano’s senior year at Clifton High School he was unsure of his future; that was until he experienced our YTTW Stage Technician presentation. Emilio was immediately interested in the YTTW Stage Technician Program. Brushing aside all other alternatives, Emilio set his sight on becoming a Stage Technician. A supportive family offered all the extra encouragement he needed to become a Youth Transition to Work (YTTW) Graduate. After completing all the YTTW requirements Emilio was selected to become a Stage Technician apprentice. Entering the United States Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program in September 2010, Emilio began working at various venues in the International Alliance of Stage Employees jurisdictions.

In November of 2010 an opportunity presented itself to place an apprentice in a full time position at Metropolitan Exposition Services in Moonachie, Bergen County, New Jersey. Emilio was selected to fill that position. The company provides exposition services to trade shows.  He continues employment there today.

Emilio had very limited prior work experience before he became a Stage Technician Apprentice. He now has a full time position working in the entertainment industry. He earns $10.80 an hour with wage increases scheduled annually during the three year apprenticeship program.

Mr. Cano is a true success story of the Youth Transitions to Work Program & Registered Apprenticeship.

Kenny Fasano

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Diesel Mechanic C Technician

Always knowing he wanted to be a diesel mechanic, Kenny entered the International Association of Machinist Corporation for Re-Employment and Safety Training Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW) program in his senior year of high school in 2007.  Upon his graduation from Nutley High School in June 2008, he started the Diesel Technician apprenticeship program.  Kenny works for Penske Truck Leasing in Parsippany.  In two years, Kenny has increased his wage by over 100%. 

Kenny is able to convert his diesel technology classes to college credits and is looking forward to attending college in the fall and receiving his Associates Degree.

Freddy Baez

A graduate of Union County Vocational and Technical High School, Freddy Baez liked automobile technology. Freddy entered the IAM CREST auto apprenticeship program in September 2009.  The International Association of Machinists sent him for classes at Union County College in Auto Technology.  His employer, Crown Cadillac in Watchung, saw in Freddy a smart, personable young man and offered him a position as an entry level service writer at the apprentice wage of $10 per hour.  Today - 1 and a half years later - Freddy earns more than double his starting wage. Freddy enjoys his automotive classes (they help him understand the automotive engine processes and better explain the issues to his customers.) Freddy is very satisfied and says for him the YTTW program was a "great opportunity." 

YTTW GRANTEE & REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP SPONSOR, United Labor Agency of Bergen County’s Success Story submission: 

Ms. Chloe de Kruif is a second year Stage Technician Apprentice in our Youth

Transitions to Work Program. From the first day we met Chloe it was evident

she was a truly special candidate. Since childhood she has been active in stage

productions, both on stage and behind the scenes. Chloe's' parents have also

been very supportive in her career choice. A brief excerpt from her parents


"As parents, when you have a child that wants to learn a craft - college is not

always the answer. Lf you can find a program such as the IATSE Apprenticeship

Program where your child will be able to access hands on experience you know

that your child is going to learn from the best. We, (Chloe included) look at this

program as a gift." Glenda and Johan de Kruif, Ridgefield Park, NJ

The entire time Chloe has been in the program she strives to excel. Time and

again she has been placed into positions normally reserved for more seasoned

Stage Technicians and has shown herself to be more than up to the task. Even as

a second year apprentice she is given the responsibility to run entire stage

productions. Each of the local l.A.T.S.E. Presidents has commented in a positive

way, on her abilities as a Stage Technician. When her apprenticeship is

completed she will be an asset to any of the three locals.


Although Chloe is the lone female in the program she is accepted as one of the

guys by her peers. She pulls her own weight and then some, never using her

gender as an excuse to not get the job done. Her exceptional abilities do not

end with the physical aspects of the job. Her academic record is also

outstanding at Bergen Community College where she is taking the required

related classroom instruction.  The program encourages apprentices to pursue a

degree program in the entertainment industry after they have completed the

related instruction for the registered apprenticeship program.  It is expected that Apprentice Chloe

will continue her studies and go on to earn a degree.


It has been a pleasure helping Chloe realize her dream to be a Stage Technician.

She is undoubtedly going to be a fine Stage Technician. She will also serve as a

testament to value of the NJ Labor & Workforce Development’s YTTW program, and USDOL-Office of Apprenticeship’s registered apprentice program.

YTTW Grantee/Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor:

NJ Health Care Employees (Local 1199J) success stories submission:

Apprentice:  Octavia Wynn

St. Ann’s Home, Jersey City, NJ

Octavia’s journey into the profession of Nursing was a rough and rocky one. She had to overcome a fear of testing, and dramatically improve her academic skills in order to compete against many high qualified apprentices. However, Octavia not only completed an exhaustive certification to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, she was also the first in her class to pass all the State requirements, and the first to be hired by a nursing home. Octavia was unlike any other YTTW student in the past, achieving her success from a gritty determination. And while her academic grades may not have always been stellar, it was clear Octavia was going to be a nurse, and nothing was going to stand in her way. In the first year of her employment, Octavia is currently earning $10 an hour. 

Apprentice:  Mervin Menier

Barnabas Health, Livingston NJ

Mervin Menier, a senior from Union City, NJ was faced with several difficult decisions when he heard about the YTTW Program from his high school guidance counselor. “It was like either find a career I could do or join a street gang. I felt like the gang part would be easy, and they were jus’ waiting to take me in.” Mervin is a hulking, linebacker size young man with a quiet but serious demeanor and he typifies many of the students who find their way to the YTTW/apprenticeship program.   Mervin’s challenge was to ignore the peer pressure at school and on the streets so he could stay focused to complete his certification/apprenticeship. Along the way, Mervin wrote an extensive research paper on the effects of concussions in the NFL, detailing specifics on how to treat brain injuries, and citing specific cases over the last five years. Medical research is actually where many YTTW students excel in the Program, and it helps lead them down a path of discovery, while also stoking their self-confidence. Mervin was successfully placed at Barnabas Health in Livingston, NJ and is realizing his dream of being a healthcare professional and earning $12.50 an hour.  

Apprentice:  Andrich Rabano

The Fountain at the Manor, Secaucus, NJ

Andrich Rabano, a student from Jersey City, NJ came to the apprenticeship program with a deep desire to help and care for sick people. Like so many nursing students, Andrich had firsthand experience with illness, since he had been taking care of his grandmother for many years. Andrich’s story, however, had more to do with a struggle with language fluency, since he struggled with English competency from the very beginning. In fact, from the very first day of the YTTW apprenticeship, Andrich pushed himself to better his fluency in English, and was often found looking up words in the dictionary, double checking his writing with other more fluent English speakers, and allowing himself valuable rewrite time with essays.  At the end of the Program Andrich had made enormous strides in English, and passed his State exams, landing a job at a nursing home in Secaucus, NJ, where he works in the Psych ward making $10 an hour.

Apprentice:  Caitlin Kahl

Barnabas Health, Livingston, NJ

One student who has struggled with academic success is Caitlin Kahl of Kenilworth, NJ. Caitlin, a graduate of Union City Vocational Technical High School in 2010, was a second year YTTW apprentice and is currently working at Barnabas Health in Livingston, NJ, making $14.35 an hour. She is a beautiful young woman, with a quiet and sweet disposition. From the very first day, it was clear Caitlin had something special, that extra something, which makes people successful in life. Surprisingly, several teachers in high school had told her that her academic deficits would forever hold her back, and that she could never expect to become a nurse, let alone enter the healthcare industry. But Caitlin made up her mind early in the Program that she was going to strive for academic excellence. In the end, Caitlin passed her State Nursing certification, making good on her promise to herself and her family. She is currently attending Union County College where she is pursuing an Associate’s Degree as an LPN with a specialty in Hospice Care. 

Apprentice:  Candito Perez

Barnabas Health, Livingston, NJ

Candito came to the YTTW, Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program during its first year after graduating from Newark Technical High School in Newark, NJ. In fact, Candito was the first student to be interviewed, the first to pass his certifications, and the first to be placed in a healthcare job! He was also an YTTW vice president. Candito is currently working at Barnabas Health in Livingston, NJ and is pursuing a Nursing degree at Union County College. Candito has received multiple Latin scholarships along the way, and his grades and academic performance have been exemplary. He recently received a promotion at Barnabas and is making over $14.75 an hour. 

In summary, the future of our YOUTH in New Jersey!  NJ’s Registered Apprenticeship partnerships (USDOL/OA; NJLWD; SETC; NJ PLACE; REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP SPONSORS and APPRENTICES; and EMPLOYERS) are proud!  NJ & USDOL’s programs have and will continue to have positive outcome for our youth, youth transiting into high-skill, and high-wage employment in labor demand occupations. 

In partnership in the State of New Jersey, USDOL’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, information was provided by: 

New Jersey Department of Labor Workforce Development (NJLWD)

New Jersey State Employment & Training Commission (SETC) / NJ PLACE

Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors:

?         New Jersey Healthcare Employers, Local 1199J (& its employers)

?         United Labor Agency of Bergen County (& its employers)

?         International Association of Machinists Corp for Re-Employment & Safety Training (IAMCREST)

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship (OA) – New Jersey






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Modified On : January 17, 2012
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