The East Orange School District will receive a $597,600 grant and the Middlesex County Magnet School will receive a $134,380 grant through Women and Minorities in Construction grant programs to foster the creation and expansion of apprenticeships throughout the state and the development of training opportunities for minorities and women in construction and related trades, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The funds will be distributed through the Growing Apprenticeship In Nontraditional Sectors, Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education and the New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity programs.

The two school districts are among more than a dozen entities that collectively received more than $8.6 million in grant funding to support the state’s efforts in this area. You can see a full list of the recipients here.

The grant awarded to East Orange will support 60 apprentices in the allied health, construction and supply chain management occupations, while Middlesex County Magnet School’s grant will support 50 apprentices in the advanced manufacturing field.

New Jersey has invested a total of $50 million through grant programs to create and develop work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs across the state. The state currently has 8,361 active apprentices serving in 1,193 programs.

“Apprenticeships play a vital role in cultivating our workforce and empowering participants to acquire the essential skills they need for securing rewarding employment,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “These grant programs allow apprenticeships that bring invaluable opportunities to underserved individuals, which in turn strengthens our state and promotes fairness. These efforts align with this administration’s steadfast commitment to transform New Jersey into a state of opportunity for all.”

“The simple reality is that these apprenticeship programs work,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “They benefit employers who can create a steady stream of skill-ready workers. They benefit employees who learn valuable skills they can take with them as they build careers with family sustaining incomes.”

Learn more in the full news release.