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NCCTI health care graduates are on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. From left to right: Shauna Lamar, Emajenee Hawkins, Kaitlin Brant, Jafuna Givens, Tatyana Patilla and Caffi Lovence.

NCCTI on the Front Line in Times of Need

By Rodney Brutton
Director of New Community Career & Technical Institute

New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI) graduates stood up and stepped in during the city’s, region’s and country’s most desperate time of need. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its devastating impact on the world and our region, NCCTI’s graduates are on the front line of caring for those inflicted with this virus. They are serving as clinical medical assistants, patient care technicians and community health workers at University Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Clara Maass Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. Our graduates demonstrated their value and immediately put their training and skills to good use.

Our graduates’ commitment to standing up and stepping in during these most troubling times is exemplified by the story of Ms. Janufa Givens. Janufa is currently working in Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit, providing direct care to COVID-19 patients. Jafuna is tasked with taking vital signs, taking blood sugar readings, assisting with connecting and disconnecting patients to ventilators, repositioning patients and performing personal hygiene care. Although initially a bit daunting, Janufa has become more confident with completing her daily tasks. She was provided all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and received additional training on how to “suit up” and protect herself. Janufa’s performance comes as no surprise, considering she was an excellent student in our Patient Care Technician program. Her attendance was stellar, she demonstrated superb clinical skills and she always came to school with a smile.

NCCTI served as an immediate source when employers needed skilled, trained and certified direct care health workers. At a moment’s notice, NCCTI staff identified and referred 15 graduates to our employer partners and they all were hired. NCCTI ensures there is a steady pipeline of skilled workers to answer employer needs, not just in times of urgency, but as a consistent practice. Similar to our graduates, NCCTI stood up and stepped in to support our employer partners.

NCCTI graduates are well trained, smart, caring and willing to join the front line in times of need. While most of us looked to seek cover and shelter in place, NCCTI students and many other direct health care workers stood up and stepped in to offer their skills, training and caring spirit. Jafuna is one of 15 recent graduates demonstrating their courage and passion. We are proud to call them all NCCTI alumni.

NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical institution that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Community Healthcare Worker, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. NCCTI also operates a comprehensive Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities Program sponsored by the local and national Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) offices. For more information, call 973-824-6484, log onto or visit 274 South Orange Ave., Newark.

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