Industry partnerships address the skills-development challenges of low-skilled unemployed and under-employed adults but equally as important, they are employer-led or employer centric to ensure employment or advancement at the end of a training cycle. Currently CareerWorks supports industry partnerships in two of New Jersey’s growth industry sectors – healthcare and transportation, logistics and distribution (TLD). CareerWorks continues to vet economic and labor market data against employers’ true workforce needs and develops innovative solutions that map to New Jersey’s unique value proposition and circumstance. For instance CareerWorks – especially as it builds its TLD portfolio – seeks to create a sustainable workforce pipeline to Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, the largest port on the East Coast.
Whereas northern New Jersey – or the Gateway Region – was a leading player in the Industrial Revolution, its largest cities – Newark, Paterson, Elizabeth and Jersey City – now are urban centers in which many citizens require second-chance education opportunities to gain entre to careers. CareerWorks continues to expand its portfolio of industry partnerships and is well on target to trained 1,000 unemployed, low- and moderate-income (LMI) participants within northern New Jersey through 2017 and beyond.
Jewish Vocational Services/RWJBarnabas Health — In January 2012, CareerWorks awarded Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)/RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH), the state’s largest healthcare provider, a one-year $100,000 grant to upgrade the skills of hundreds of RWJBH’s lowest-skilled, incumbent workers. JVS trained 315 workers in basic Computer 101 training enabling them to log onto the “Bridge” intranet career-development platform. The more impactful initial program was that JVS (in conjunction with NJ Health Care Employers District 1199J) prepared 40 workers such as Dietary and Housekeeping Aides workers for the higher-paying position of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), which tracks to defined career paths. The JVS “Transition to Nursing” pre-CNA program offered basic computer, medical terminology, communications and the job-related technical training. All 40 completed a CNA class at Essex County College (ECC) and sat for their state certifications. CareerWorks awarded a second-year $100,000 grant to JVS/RWJBarnabas Health in which:
- CNA Plus supports 40 Certified Nursing Assistant ECC enrollees – trained via the first CareerWorks grant – in passing the certification exam and obtaining CNA employment.
- Fast Forward Healthcare provides an additional 45 entry-level, low-wage employees, including ESL workers, basic skills training for administrative, technical and nursing healthcare careers, before connecting them to Essex County College (ECC) certificate programs.
- Multi-skills Training is being offered to 70 incumbent Unit Secretaries and Certified Patient Access Representatives (CPARS) interested in advancing along an administrative career path. They are developing cross-training and multi-tasking skills, as well as skills in customer service, handling difficult patients, and leadership.
- Career Counseling and Mentoring for Managers – BH in collaboration with JVS is training 50 managers and supervisors in order to foster a culture of promoting from within so that managers can better coach and mentor employees. Vocational counseling is helping participants to establish career goals. This is a transformative and potentially sustainable effort to embed frontline worker training and advancement in the RWJBarnabas Health culture.
CareerWorks Pilot Emergency Medical Technician Program — CareerWorks created a pilot healthcare program strictly for Newarkers using an $80,000 Victoria Foundation grant. The 190-hour, three-month training by Less Stress Instructional Services began April 8, 2013, and was offered at Newark Beth Israel three days per week. Partners such as the NewarkWorks One-Stop Career Center and community based organizations helped to recruit 20 Newark candidates who were given a prerequisite CPR class and were trained in Emergency Medical Services. All of the partners are committed to connecting those who passed certification to private ambulance companies and hospitals that hire newly certified EMTs.
Jersey City Medical Center RWJBarnabas Health — CareerWorks awarded a one-year, $100,000 grant in September 2012 to Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) to fund training for 20 incumbent workers such as patient escorts, ward data entry clerks, security officers, and building service workers for positions that offer $13 to $18 per hour – a $2-to-$4-per-hour increase in wages. This partnership between JCMC – an award-winning Hudson County healthcare provider, William Paterson University and McNamara and Associates bundled multi-skills healthcare tech/patient care tech (PCT) and electronic medical records (EMR) training with life-skills coaching to enable participants to become patient access reps, EMR clerks, unit clerks, and multi-skills healthcare techs – family sustaining careers within JCMC.
Industry Partnerships: Transportation, Logistics and Distribution (TLD)
CareerWorks has been actively engaging Transportation, Logistics and Distribution employers and recently awarded a $100,000 CareerWorks grant to a workforce partnership between New Community Corporation and Sansone Auto Mall that is training 24 jobseekers for the Ford Motor Company Maintenance & Light Repair Certification. Successful graduates will be placed at Sansone Auto Mall and other area dealerships. Automotive technicians can earn $25K to $125K per annum.