Workforce Development Awarded $260K Grant For Auto Program

Willians Anaya, left, holds a light for fellow student Jaysn Harley as Harley adjusts an oxygen sensor in a 2001 Mercury Sable.Willians Anaya, left, holds a light for fellow student Jaysn Harley as Harley adjusts an oxygen sensor in a 2001 Mercury Sable.

Development Awarded $260K Grant For Auto Program

The New Community Workforce Development Center was awarded a grant for its automotive training program to train 50 more job seekers.

The one-year, $260,000 grant for the Automotive Technician Training Center Program was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Rodney Brutton, NCC Director of Workforce Development, said.

The 12-month program will train and place 50 people at Ford Motor Company Quick Lane Service Stations, Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Mazda, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, Hyundai and other auto centers. Each dealership has agreed to provide internships and jobs to the program’s graduates, who, upon completion, earn nationally recognized Ford automotive technician certification.

“We’re not training for training’s sake,” Brutton said, noting support that the program has received from senior management at Ford Motor Company and Sansone Auto Mall. “The real experience is when you go out into the private sector,” he said. As of April, 18 students were working as interns at dealerships and 11 students were offered jobs, both full-time and part-time positions, Brutton said.

Currently 33 students participate in the program, which meets at NCC’s state-of-the-art auto center on West Bigelow Street (interns work at other respective sites). The grant will be used, in part, to purchase student uniforms, textbooks, tools and equipment and also hire staff including a case manager and job developer, Brutton said.

Rayjourn Martin taught himself about cars as the owner of several used vehicles but after enrolling in the program in September, he says he’s becoming more of an expert.

“Even though I had some know-how, I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here,” said Martin, who aspires to be a master automotive technician at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the future.

The training program’s next class will begin in June and NCC is currently accepting applications. Applications can be completed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Workforce Development Center at 201 Bergen St.

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