Jul-11-11 Workforce Partners Support Program to Help Apprentices Earn College Degree
Today the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the State Employment and Training Commission announced the release of another $205,000 over the next year to support NJ PLACE, otherwise known as the New Jersey Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education program.
NJ PLACE helps people to earn college credits for successfully completing an apprenticeship and obtaining a federally-registered, apprenticeship certificate. The program enables them to concurrently earn a college degree at any of New Jersey’s nineteen community colleges__as 40-year-old carpenter Donte Boyer of Ewing Township did through NJ PLACE.
Through NJ PLACE, Boyer used the credits he earned during his carpentry apprenticeship to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree from Mercer County College. He also became an instructor for the New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters, teaching apprentices in the program, and Boyer anticipates graduating from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Labor and Employment Relations degree in spring 2012.
“I am grateful for the NJ PLACE program and I love what I do (working as a carpenter),” said Boyer. “In addition to pursuing my master’s and eventually my doctorate, I would like to become an organizer and work as a business representative.”
“Investing in New Jersey workers through NJ PLACE will strengthen our economy and help the next generation of apprentices to launch their careers," said Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the New Jersey Department of Labor. “This program is a way to ensure that New Jersey continues to produce skilled and educated workers.”
NJ PLACE is open to current and former apprentices pursuing careers such as: Automotive Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Carpenter, Corrections Officer, Electrician, HVAC and Refrigeration Technician, Insulator, Ironworker, Pipefitter/Steamfitter, Plumber, Sheet Metal Worker, and Telecommunications Installer/Technician.
“New Jersey must maximize every available opportunity to enhance its workforce development system to ensure a trained workforce that possesses world class skills,” said Dennis Bone, Chairman of the State Employment and Training Commission.
NJ PLACE uses agreements between registered apprenticeship programs and community colleges, allowing courses an individual takes within a registered apprenticeship program to transfer into credits towards earning a college degree. Additionally, the agreement NJ PLACE has with the colleges allows participants to schedule their remaining classes at times and locations that are convenient for them.
NJ PLACE has many partners including the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council (NJBCTC).
“NJ PLACE has increased the visibility of the extensive training and education involved in the various building trades in our state,” said William Mullen, NJBCTC President.
Usually restricted to candidates registered in apprenticeship programs, NJ PLACE will explore expanding to include individuals who have enrolled in nationally-recognized skills training courses. Individuals would be able to use these types of credentials and certificates to gain additional credit towards earning a college degree.
NJ PLACE is administered by the Rutgers University College Community. For additional information please go to www.NJPLACE.com.
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