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Career Works awarded $320,000 grant to develop industry partnerships

National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Jobs for the Future and Walmart Foundation Back the Collaborative’s Efforts to Develop Job Skills among Entry-Level Adults

CareerWorks: Greater Newark Workforce Funders Collaborative is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $320,000 in grants to support the expansion of its industry partnerships to develop the skills of entry-level adults in northern New Jersey and help them access career tracks. CareerWorks is New Jersey’s only regional collaborative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions network of 35 innovative workforce funders collaboratives across the country.

Through a one year, $100,000 National Fund for Workforce Solutions/Social Innovation Fund grant, CareerWorks plans to expand its existing workforce partnership with Jersey City Medical Center – Barnabas Health to train incumbent workers and job seekers for occupations that Hudson County’s largest medical facility requires. The funding marks the third year that CareerWorks has supported a partnership with the medical center, based on its track record of training entry-level employees in food services, patient transport and housekeeping to become patient care techs and medical billers and coders who see $10,000 to $12,000 increases in annual wages after placement.

A $220,000 grant from Jobs for the Future and Walmart will serve as a catalyst for CareerWorks to scale New Community Corporation automotive training that leads to a Ford Motor Company Maintenance & Light Repair Certification, internships, and placement with employer partners such as Sansone Auto Mall, Ford, Toyota, Jiffy Lube, NJ Transit, and Goodyear. A 2013 CareerWorks-supported partnership with NCC trained 23 automotive maintenance technicians, 18 of whom have been placed in full-time jobs – a 78% placement rate. With that success, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued an Opportunity4Jersey grant that trained another 50. The new CareerWorks-supported NCC workforce partnership with Ford and Sansone Auto Mall will train 200 job seekers – with a particular focus on women – over two years and place them at area dealerships or service centers. Graduates become automotive techs, service writers or even sales people earning from $30,000 to $100,000. CareerWorks also intends to use the grant to train 100 incumbent workers.

“Grantmakers that partner with CareerWorks recognize that gainful career employment is the most transformative opportunity in an adult’s life,” said Kathy M. Weaver, Vice President of Programs, Newark Alliance. “CareerWorks industry partnerships – composed of employers and key stakeholders, offer innovative solutions to train low-skilled job seekers and incumbent workers to companies’ specific needs; in turn, companies commit to placing graduates on the path to family-sustaining careers. Such partnerships are cost effective for employers and funders alike; they help businesses reduce turnover among entry-level workers and lower recruitment and retraining costs.”Industry partnerships,” a nationally recognized model for aligning skills development and training to employers’ true career requirements. With these two grants and its private and aligned funder base, CareerWorks seeks to create a pipeline of healthcare and transportation and logistics distribution workers who can access viable career paths and family-sustaining wages. By creating a talent pool trained in the skills that employers require, CareerWorks can support businesses in northern New Jersey’s growth sectors.