Students and staff members of New Community Career and Technical Institute (NCCTI) were invited to participate in a press conference held by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy where he announced grant money being allocated for paid apprenticeship programs.
One recipient of the Growing Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Sectors (GAINS) grant is Sansone Auto Mall, which hosted the press conference Feb. 11 at its Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM dealership in Avenel. NCCTI has a longstanding partnership with Sansone Auto Mall and some if its Automotive and Diesel Technician students will benefit from the apprenticeship program.
“Classroom and practical instruction at our Training Center will be combined with related training and automotive assignments at Sansone Auto Mall,” said NCCTI Director Rodney Brutton. “Our students will be paid and have more direct access to a quality career opportunity.”
New Community CEO Richard Rohrman sees the apprenticeship program as a way to help NCCTI students both further their careers and allow them to more easily complete training.
“At NCC, we know the value of an internship as part of a well-rounded automotive or diesel technician’s training. They are a part of our program already but now the students will be able to earn as they learn. It really helps our students who have to struggle with supporting themselves during training,” Rohrman said. “I can’t overstate the value this has.”
Murphy explained at the press event that Sansone is receiving $440,000 to create 35 apprenticeship opportunities in the coming year. He said 13 entry-level Sansone employees will benefit, as well as 22 others, which will come from other programs like NCCTI. Overall, $2.8 million were awarded through the GAINS grant program to seven entities. Apprentices will receive a minimum of $15 per hour to start.
“The auto industry is one of the largest in New Jersey but right now there’s a national shortage of certified techs and mechanics, a gap that is expected to balloon to 25,000 over the next few years,” Murphy said. “These apprentices will receive hands-on training under the guidance of experienced auto technicians and diesel mechanics right here at Sansone Auto Mall. When they complete their training, they’ll add 35 more names to our already impressive total of industry recognized professionals ready to take the next step in their careers.”
Rohrman is happy the administration is placing a high value on apprenticeship programs.
“The governor really gets it when it comes to the need to have viable alternatives to a college education,” Rohrman said. “Students’ skills are so varied and we need a trained workforce that values all their skills.”
NCCTI students will be selected for the Sansone apprenticeship program based on attendance, their skill sets and competencies. They also must receive a recommendation from their instructor.
“Our students are really excited about the opportunity,” Brutton said.
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Robert Asaro-Angelo said the goal of the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, which was created in 2018, is to pair employers with workers and training providers who can learn specialized skills.
“The Department of Labor has put more than $7.5 million in competitive grants on the table to help eligible businesses, nonprofits and government agencies develop or grow apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs,” he said.
Recipients of the GAINS grants announced Feb. 11 were ApprenticeIT, Employers Association of New Jersey, Interplex, Montclair State University, New Jersey Community College Consortium, New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program and Sansone. In total, the seven entities received $2.8 million.
NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical school that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. Those interested in enrolling should call 973-824-6484 or fill out an intake form. The school is located at 274 South Orange Ave., Newark, with the Training Center that houses Automotive, Diesel and Building Trades programs located at 210 West Bigelow St., Newark.