More than 8,000 students and workers are now participating in New Jersey’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, designed to use paid, on-the-job training opportunities to develop a workforce that possesses the high level of skills and technical knowledge that many employers in the state require. A total of 855 programs are participants in the state’s apprenticeship network.
Four of the apprentices are now working at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), a world-class center for fusion energy research that’s part of the Department of Energy. On Tuesday, their signing on to the four-year, on-the-job training program was marked with a formal ceremony witnessed by numerous dignitaries, including state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
“Because of the commitment of PPPL to apprenticeship, these new apprentices will be mentored in careers that are rewarding, cutting-edge, and vital to our country’s future energy needs,” said Asaro-Angelo. “In my mind, there is almost no industry sector that cannot benefit from an apprenticeship program, and today’s ceremony at a high-tech research lab proves the point.”
The apprentices will train as mechanical and electrical technicians and attend classes at Mercer County Vocational Technical Schools. At PPPL, where they will be part of a team looking to develop nuclear energy to generate electricity, they will receive competitive pay and benefits, 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, and related classroom instruction. They will be eligible for full-time employment after completing the program.