new jersey government & labor leaders tout importance of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in building trades

(Newark, NJ) – On Monday, November 27, New Jersey leaders in government and labor capped off National Apprenticeship Week in a meet and greet with aspiring tradespeople at the Essex County Hall of Records. Speakers included Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), NJ Dept. of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, and a host of labor union representatives. The event was organized by Pathways to Apprenticeship New Jersey (P2A NJ) and Essex County Board of County Commissioners President Wayne Richardson.

“Today’s event brings together two issues that are close to my heart: opportunities to reach the middle class through good-paying union jobs and reentry programs that foster second chances. With so many important infrastructure projects coming to New Jersey thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the newest class of apprentices to complete job training organized by Pathways to Apprenticeship NJ will be an essential part of building the future of our state. It was great to celebrate them alongside so many leaders in this sector as these apprentices begin their new careers,” said former Outreach and Reentry Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s Newark Office and NJ-11 Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill.

“I am proud to support apprenticeships and the work of Pathways to Apprenticeship New Jersey to increase them statewide,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr (NJ-10).  “Apprenticeships create opportunities for local workers to increase their skills and create a great future.  I am a strong supporter of federal efforts to increase apprenticeships.  I introduced and helped pass an amendment to a bill that expanded opportunities for more small businesses to participate in apprenticeship programs.  It is just one of the actions I take daily to support apprenticeships across Essex County and New Jersey.”

Speakers and discussions at the event highlighted the value of pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and touted the support the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development has shown for apprenticeships and organizations like P2A NJ. The audience of pre-apprenticeship students learned about and were encouraged to apply to apprenticeship opportunities in a variety of trades.

“A career in the building trades remains one of the best opportunities for upward economic mobility and building intergenerational wealth,” said Essex County Commissioner President and P2A Executive Director Wayne L. Richardson. “It is imperative that we as elected and community leaders educate young and aspiring tradespeople about the career pathways available to them, and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed. I am proud to be part of an organization like Pathways to Apprenticeship.”

“Apprenticeship plays a critical role in developing trained and skilled workers where they’re needed most. The earn-while-you-learn model, born in the building trades, can be adapted to virtually any field, as we’re proving here in New Jersey,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Under the Murphy Administration, the state has invested well over $50 million to grow and develop apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and work-based learning programs, and has seen a 100 percent increase in Registered Apprenticeship programs statewide.”

P2A NJ is a non-profit organization committed to helping individuals from underrepresented communities gain admittance into the various registered building trades apprenticeship programs. This meet and greet came towards the end of P2A NJ’s five-week training to prepare participants for the union application process. A graduation ceremony for the training is being held on Friday, December 1.

“Thank you to Commissioner President Wayne Richardson and Pathways to Apprenticeship for hosting the symposium about apprenticeships and training. It shines a spotlight on and raises awareness about the importance of developing a skilled labor force,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo. “The building trades and their unions have played a vital role partnering with us to improve our parks, infrastructure and buildings. Training and preparing the next generation of skilled workers is essential to our continued success.”

National Apprenticeship Week is a nationwide celebration where employers, industry associations, labor organizations, community-based organizations, workforce partners, educators, and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship.

More pictures of the event can be seen here, and a recording of the event can be viewed here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For Additional Information - Contact:
Adam Tucker, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
Follow Us:

Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.


(973) 621-4486


(973) 621-5695


Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102