New Community Corporation is a partner in the Newark 2020 initiative, which aims to reduce unemployment and poverty in the city by connecting residents to a variety of job opportunities in Newark.
The City of Newark, the city’s business community, higher education and medical institutions, clergy, philanthropies and workforce development programs have all come together for the cause, which aims to hire 2,020 Newark residents by the year 2020.
Anchor institutions, which have committed to hiring a certain number of Newark residents, include Audible, Panasonic, Prudential, PSE&G, Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health.
NCC’s role in the initiative is to connect Newark residents to jobs, which includes helping them get the skills to obtain employment. That’s where the New Community Workforce Development Center comes in.
“Newark 2020 is a premiere opportunity to connect Newark residents to career opportunities and jobs that anchor institutions are recruiting for,” said Workforce Director Rodney Brutton. He believes Workforce can close the skills gap that exists as a barrier for some city residents to get gainful employment.
“If Beth Israel is hiring five nurse assistants, but they need to have certifications and if people don’t have the skills, that’s where we come in,” Brutton said.
The Workforce Development Center offers job training in Allied Health, Automotive Technician, Building Trades and Culinary Arts.
New Community Director of Special Projects Richard Cammarieri calls the Newark 2020 initiative “extremely ambitious” but is hopeful for its success because the process has been much more strategic than others like it in the past.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is a big proponent of the initiative, which he announced at a press conference June 26 with many representatives from involved organizations, including NCC’s Cammarieri.
If successful, the initiative will not only help Newark residents find meaningful employment close to home, but Brutton said it will also benefit the Workforce Development Center.
“Newark 2020 will help Workforce with the marketing of programs and will help increase enrollment,” he said. “Part of the initiative is to market where people can go to get training.”
Cammarieri added that NCC will make sure all its residents and program participants are aware when hiring is happening through Newark 2020 so they have the opportunity to apply.
“The potential is great,” he said of the program.
The website newark2020.com has been set up as a place where interested residents can fill out a profile and upload a resume. A full launch of the website is expected this fall.
More than 100 people have already filled out information, with varying geographical locations and income levels, according to Cammarieri. Another goal of Newark 2020 is to have job offerings for various skill levels so residents can find entry level, mid level and high level positions.
“The bottom line for Newark residents is they have to see results. They have seen things like this before,” Cammarieri said. “The time is right. There’s good leadership. Hopefully this will work.”
Cammarieri is representing New Community on the Newark 2020 Steering Committee, as well as the Subcommittee on Community and Faith Outreach and the Subcommittee on Policy and Workforce System Reform. Brutton serves on three Newark 2020 subcommittees: Training and Education, Job Placement and Career Pathways and Policy and Workforce System Reform.
Residents interested in learning more about the training offered by the New Community Workforce Development Center should visit newcommunity.org or call 973-824-6484. Those interested in getting more information about the Newark 2020 initiative can visit newark2020.com.