New Community Workforce Development Center has become the first community hub of the Newark 2020 initiative, which aims to connect 2,020 Newark residents to employment that provides family sustainable wages by the end of 2020.
As a hub, New Community Workforce Development Center is responsible for reaching out to individuals who signed up and submitted information through the Newark 2020 website, assessing their educational and professional backgrounds and connecting them to employment opportunities.
“We are serving as the liaison between Newark 2020 applicants and employers,” said New Community Workforce Development Center Director Rodney Brutton.
Another part of being a community hub is providing employability skills training, helping candidates with resumes, practicing interviews and offering assistance in preparation for employment opportunities.
“We’re happy to have been selected as a community hub,” Brutton said. “It’s exciting.”
Mayor Ras Baraka announced the Newark 2020 initiative last year. It has support from a number of city employers, including Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, PSE&G, Audible, Prudential, RWJBarnabas Health, NJIT, Rutgers-Newark, Panasonic, United Airlines and New Community Corporation. The employers have agreed to hire a certain number of Newark residents.
New Community Workforce Development Center is in a good position to prepare applicants for jobs because as an accredited post-secondary career and technical school, it offers programs that help students receive certifications in their field of study.
“If a Newark 2020 applicant isn’t qualified for a job but is interested in training, we’ll be able to help them,” Brutton said.
Newark 2020 Project Director Travis Reid said New Community Workforce Development Center was chosen as the first community hub based on the results of a competitive bidding process and subsequent follow-up interviews with staff. Community hubs will help candidates develop resumes, provide best-in-practice case management to clients and facilitate effective matches between job seekers and employers.
“New Community Corporation’s existing infrastructure and deep experience in workforce development led to their number one ranking in a very competitive pool of respondents to our RFP,” Reid said.
Greater Newark LISC was part of the Newark 2020 selection and onboarding process for New Community Workforce Development Center as a community hub. Its funding is providing for the start of Newark 2020 operations there. The organization also provides funding and technical support for New Community’s Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities program.
“Greater Newark LISC is proud to have served as a partner in the Newark 2020 initiative since its inception, and we are especially pleased to be a part of the launch alongside the LISC Bridges to Careers Opportunity work at New Community, all in alignment with the living wage employment landscape efforts here in Newark,” said Greater Newark LISC Program Officer Jerrah Crowder.
Newark 2020 applicants came to New Community Workforce Development Center May 14 for an orientation. They got to hear more about the initiative from Reid and Brutton and met with Hub Representative Aziza Johnson and Program Assistant Quameria Edwards.
While Reid explained that employers are not required to grant interviews, those looking for employment at companies that have committed to Newark 2020 are better positioned to yield opportunities.
“Newark 2020 strategically leverages employer commitments to hiring locally to benefit the city’s labor force,” Reid said. “Community hubs are critically important because they help facilitate matches that mutually benefit job seekers and employers.”
Newark 2020 is open to all Newark residents, regardless of employment level. At the orientation, participants had a variety of career interests, including customer service, health care, communications, building maintenance and human resources.
Those interested in participating in Newark 2020 should visit newarkjobs2020.com and register. For more information about New Community Workforce Development Center and its course offerings, click here or call 973-824-6484.