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State grants $1.3M for apprenticeship program to fight opioid crisis

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Rutgers President Robert Barchi and Gov. Chris Christie.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi and Gov. Chris Christie. - ()

The New Jersey Healthcare Talent Development Center will receive a $1.3 million grant from the state to launch an apprenticeship program for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors as part of New Jersey's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

The apprenticeship program will be offered through New Jersey’s Healthcare Talent Development Center, based out of Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, and will provide Jersey residents access to 270 hours of free classroom instruction as well as 3,100 hours of paid on-the-job training.

Similar programs exist throughout the state, but the grant will allow residents to pursue certification as an alcohol and drug counselor while also earning paid job training.

“An apprenticeship is structured to provide clear benchmarks and more rigorous oversight than other training models, which leads to better outcomes,” said Dr. Padma Arvind in a prepared statement, executive director of the New Jersey Healthcare Talent Development Center.

The apprenticeship builds off of a pilot program announced by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year where the Healthcare Talent Development Center provided alcohol and drug counselor training to case managers at Homeless Solutions in Morristown and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris counties.

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn


Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers cannabis, government and tech.

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