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Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) Program

Grants to New Jersey Nonprofits, Employers, LEAs, Schools,
IHEs, and Agencies for Workforce Development Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) - Office of Apprenticeship

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

06/16/21 12:00 Noon


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Grants to New Jersey nonprofit organizations, CBOs, employers, trade and business groups, LEAs, vocational and high schools, institutions of higher education, and government agencies for workforce development programs. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to applying. Funding is intended to help individuals enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs. Applicants will be eligible to include stipend funding within their PACE program budget.

Eligible pre-apprenticeship programs have a documented partnership with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor, and together they expand the participant's career pathway opportunities with industry-based training coupled with classroom instruction. The program will drive economic development through skills and educational attainment and create pathways to better-paying careers and advanced credentials.

The mission of the PACE Program will be to better align secondary, post-secondary, adult education and occupational training to meet labor demands unique to New Jersey and develop career pathways that lead to economically sustainable wages. Pre-apprenticeship programs funded through the PACE Program will provide education and training that leads to one of the following outcomes:

  • Admission into a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • Employment with a starting wage of not lower than $14 per hour
  • Admission into a post-secondary college or occupation-specific career training program.

Program goals:

  • Create a pipeline of qualified individuals that move from pre-apprenticeship programs to Registered Apprenticeship, employment, or post-secondary career pathways;
  • Expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities to New Jersey residents, including the underrepresented, disadvantaged, or low-skilled populations; and
  • Increase the New Jersey labor supply with a larger pool of qualified workers who possesses the skills and qualifications necessary to receive and maintain employment.

For information about PACE program objectives, see: 

Applications will be evaluated on the strength of the career pathway and partnerships proposed, the quality of programming proposed, and the lead applicant’s organizational capacity to implement the proposal. Greater weight will be given to applications that build career pathways for individuals who did not receive a high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) or who did not complete a secondary school education in a home-school setting, through co-enrollment in adult basic skills education in concert with a pre-apprenticeship program as well as post-secondary education coursework that enables such individuals to be eligible to receive financial aid through the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act (HEA).

For information about required program elements, see:

Applications that contain pre-apprenticeship training within the following industry clusters will be viewed favorably in the proposal evaluation process:

  • Advanced Manufacturing 
  • BioPharma/Life Sciences
  • Energy, Utilities, and Infrastructure 
  • Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism
  • Financial Services/Insurance 
  • Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution
  • Information Technology/Cyber Security 
  • Renewable Energy
  • Health Care
  • Other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related sectors/occupations
  • Public Service 
  • Construction and Building Trades

For information about targeted populations, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194711

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

NJDOL seeks to fund multiple programs throughout the program year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Competitive proposals will have a cost per head range between $4,000 and $8,000 (divide total number served by the grant amount).

Term of Contract:

The anticipated length of the contract period is 18 months, unless otherwise extended or reduced at the discretion of the NJDOL.

Awardees of these initial contracts may also be eligible for a one-year renewal (entire contract duration equal to two and a half years), based on program performance (Quality Placements achieved) and availability of funds.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This competitive grant opportunity is open to the following entities:
- Any employer;
- Workforce Intermediary Sponsors;
- Employer / Trade Associations;
- Any labor organization which represents workers in the occupation for which the apprentices will be trained;
- Labor/Management Partnership (public or private);
- New Jersey Local Education Agency (LEA);
- Public vocational schools within New Jersey;
- Public high schools within New Jersey;
- Two- and four-year institutions of higher education;
- Public or private non-profit organizations (including Community-Based Organizations);
- Business or trade organizations representing a particular trade, group of trades, contractors, or employers;
- Community-based organizations;
- New Jersey local Workforce Development Boards;
- Economic development organizations;
- State, Local, County governments within New Jersey;
- Any other private educational or training entity.

Ineligible requests:

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants interested in applying for the PACE grant must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to express interest in the grant opportunity. It is suggested the organization submit the letter once they determine they plan on applying for the grant opportunity, but the latest LOIs can be submitted is: 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 10, 2021 for Round 2.

Applications for FY21 PACE funds will not be accepted after 12:00 noon Wednesday, June 16, 2021 for Round 2 funding. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications early.

Final award decisions for Round 2 will be contingent upon the availability of funds and awards will be communicated by June 30, 2021.

Before submitting the LOI to NJDOL, the AO must register in SAGE as a new user.

Organizations funded through, or work in partnership with, the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) program grantees are strongly encouraged to apply for this NGO. The PACE Program can provide a pipeline of candidates for those registered apprenticeship programs funded through GAINS.

To access the Powerpoint presentation of the March 9th Technical Assistance workshop, see:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit LOIs to

Apply online:

For Technical Assistance, contact:
James Manning, Chief, Contracts and Programs Unit
(609) 633-6438

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Office of Apprenticeship
1 John Fitch Plaza
PO Box 055, 5 th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0055

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey

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