In a focused effort to keep Newark students in the classroom, New Community Workforce Development Center is forging a new partnership with Newark Public Schools (NPS) to keep at-risk students from slipping through the cracks.
The New Community Academic Enrichment, Vocational Training and Career Exploration Program targets disengaged Newark youth ages 16 to 21, according to Rodney Brutton, NCC Director of Workforce Development.
“Our target population is older youth who are over aged, under credited students in need of educational and vocational services,” he said. “NCC and the District share a common goal of connecting youth to quality services that prepares students for college, post-secondary opportunities, or the workforce,” Brutton added.
The program, to be based at NCC Workforce Development Center at 201 Bergen St., will combine traditional classroom instruction in the core subjects with vocational courses in automotive technician, culinary arts, allied health and building trades—all at their respective sites around the NCC network.
Brutton said NCC is uniquely positioned to provide students with an education and job training as well as support services, ranging from a one-stop Family Resource Success Center to behavioral and mental health services offered at the Family Service Bureau to NCC’s Emergency Food Pantry.
The $700,000 contract with NPS that the Workforce Development Center recently landed is designed to serve 50 youth, with the goal of having each student receive a diploma, earn industry recognized credentials and secure a job. Students will attend the program for six hours a day, for a 180-day school year. Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson and the School Advisory Board approved the contract in late August.
Workforce staff have started recruiting youth for the program, which is anticipated to start this school year.
NCC is one of four community based providers working with NPS to target disengaged Newark youth. The other groups are La Casa de Don Pedro, Rutgers TEEM Gateway and the Urban League of Essex County.