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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

US Labor Department Awards NJIT $5M To Create Tech Training Programs

Teaching young adults how to move into careers in brownfields remediation

The US Labor Department H1-B Technical Skills Training Program has awarded NJIT a $5 million grant to create a technical skills training program for the City of Newark and Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Morris and Hudson counties.  Through this grant, NJIT’s Continuing Professional Education Division (CPE) http://www.njit.edu/continuing/ and its partners will provide education, training and job placement assistance related to high-growth fields in which employers are currently using the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program to hire foreign workers.

NJIT will receive from the grant the largest amount of money within the Mid-Atlantic region.  This was the US Labor Department’s second round of funding of more than $83 million to 43 public-private partnerships that will serve 28 states. 

“We teach NJIT classes at such a variety of levels,” said Associate Vice President Gale Tenen Spak. “You can come here and learn how to develop Android and iPhone apps, data mining or Drupal.  Or, you could enroll in a master’s degree, which are fully online or conducted on campus or at companies.    We teach at-risk young adults how to move into careers in brownfields remediation.  And we’ve run programs in partnership with rehabilitation institutions like Kessler Institute to put people with physical and other disabilities back into the labor market.”  

For 50 years, CPE has enabled people in this region to improve their marketability in the job market by offering one-day programs, certificates and/or higher degree programs.  CPE offers credit and non-credit programs that are flexible enough to enable working adults to continue their professional development and the unemployed and underemployed to obtain the necessary skills for the current and future workforce.  In addition to ongoing offerings, CPE has managed numerous training grants with both federal and private funding.   Since 1990, CPE has delivered training programs to more than 600 companies reaching over 74,000 employees.  

Last October, the Labor Department awarded more than $159 million to 36 grantees in the first round of the competition. Between the two rounds of grants, more than $163 million has been designated to provide on-the-job training, allowing participants to learn new skills while earning a regular paycheck. More than $200 million has been designated for grantees that serve participants who have been identified as long-term unemployed. The grants also represent significant investments in fields such as information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care.

These grants are funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B program. They are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their need to use the H-1B program.

The original solicitation for grant applications announced funding of $240 million to be awarded through two rounds of funding. Because additional H-1B visa fees have been collected, about $100 million more than anticipated has been awarded.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.