Newark, New Jersey—Today, on September 6, 2018, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (Institute) released Becoming the United States of Opportunity: the Economic Equity and Growth Case for Apprenticeships, a new report on how apprenticeship programs can strengthen our economy and advance economic opportunity by connecting residents—particularly women and people of color—to living wage careers. Read the report online here. Read the PDF version of the report here

“I want to commend the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice for the release of its insightful new report. Apprenticeships are critical to the economic empowerment of New Jersey’s residents and businesses.  As a state, we need to create more opportunities for our residents to begin careers that open up the doors for employment, while ensuring that our high-growth industries have the workforce that they need to excel in our economy,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. “It is for this reason that I plan to introduce legislation that would greatly expand apprenticeship opportunities in New Jersey, particularly for women, people of color, and other people who have been under-represented and under-paid in our state. Through this legislation, New Jersey will be the national model for creating an inclusive apprenticeship program that expands economic opportunity while strengthening our economy.” 

New Jersey is the 7th worst state for income inequality in the nation, with people of color and women disproportionately represented among low-wage workers.  Women of color also experience some of the worst pay gaps in the nation, as New Jersey is ranked last for pay equity among all 50 states for Latina women and in the top ten worst states for pay equity for Black women.

“At the direction of Governor Murphy, and in partnership with the Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, we are proud to usher in the largest expansion of apprenticeships in our state’s history,” said Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Apprenticeships are a core part of our strategy to make New Jersey stronger and fairer, and we are excited to have the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice join us on this important mission to ensure that our expansion of apprenticeships is deliberately designed to create more opportunities for women, people of color, and other people with barriers to employment to enter and thrive in apprenticeship programs that pay a living wage and set them on a career path in our high-growth industries.”