Posted Friday, July 12th, 2019

German American Chamber of Commerce is a Key Partner in this Effort

County College of Morris has been awarded a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Labor to expand apprenticeship programs for advanced manufacturing, information technology, and health care.

Students working in the prototyping lab at County College of Morris

Students working in the prototyping lab at County College of Morris

The grant came through the Department’s “Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies” program.

CCM, which was one of 23 academic institutions nationwide to receive such a grant, will lead a consortium of New Jersey community colleges to build a network of apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing as part of a project called Career Advance USA.

“With more than 7,000 manufacturers in New Jersey, the apprenticeship program will help bridge the gap to create a skilled workforce in entering a critically important industry in New Jersey,” said CCM President Anthony Iacono. “This further supports and strengthens our mission to be one of New Jersey’s major economic engines.”

The federal grant is perfectly timed with CCM’s construction of a 31,500-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center slated to open in 2020 to meet the needs of those key industries.

The federal program supports partnerships among educational institutions and the private and public sectors. These partnerships will create apprenticeship models to close the skills gap by providing key training and job placement opportunities and strengthening pathways into the workforce.

“The apprenticeship model offers a unique opportunity to blend classroom learning with direct workplace experience in a mutually reinforcing fashion,” said New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis.

Architectural rendering of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center now under construction at County College of Morris

Architectural rendering of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center now under construction at County College of Morris

The German American Chamber of Commerce is a central partner in the CCM grant and will bring extensive experience and expertise with the German model of apprenticeship training to the consortium’s efforts.

Last year, Iacono, along with other education and workforce officials from across the country, toured Germany to examine its apprenticeship programs. Funded by the Transatlantic Outreach Program, the tour focused on how the United States might make use of the German model to expand experiential leaning opportunities for students with the support of industry.

The CCM consortium includes Bergen Community College, Camden County College, Hudson County College, Mercer County Community College, Middlesex County College, Raritan Valley Community College and Rowan College at Gloucester. Together, they will work with national industry partners including Arconic, Glenbrook Technologies, Norwalt Design, Rosenberger, Siemens, UPS and other leading firms in New Jersey.

Enrollment for the apprenticeship program will target both traditional and underrepresented populations, including the unemployed, veterans, transitioning military, women and people of color. At least 1,600 individuals are to be trained through the program.

Additionally, CCM will receive $500,000 as a consortium partner in the same federal grant program to develop apprenticeship programs in health care. That project is being led by Bergen Community College.CCM at 50 logo