Christie Administration Announces $1.9M Job Training Grant for Camden City Youth

Building on investments the Christie Administration has made in the city of Camden, Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announces a $1.9 million grant that will target youth unemployment in Camden. The grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered through the state Department of Labor, will provide intensive services to prepare younger workers for a variety of employment opportunities.

“Young workers are essential to the success of New Jersey’s economic future,” said Commissioner Harold J. Wirths. “This new grant will build on the strategies my department has already employed to equip young people with opportunities to gain skills and training, leading to good jobs and a starting point for a meaningful career pathway.”

The CamdenCorpsPlus program, established using the grant, will develop a 12-18 month program to: integrate occupational training with literacy and basic skills training; incorporate work readiness, financial literacy and career awareness training; and facilitate three types of work experiences: community service, job sampling, and internships.

CamdenCorpsPlus will serve youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 29 who have been disconnected from the labor force – meaning they are not enrolled in school nor currently working. The initiative will work in concert with the new Youth One-Stop facility recently opened in the city of Camden that serves at-risk, out-of-school youth in Camden County, and will partner with community colleges and two of the state Labor Department’s eight talent networks and their host agencies: Stockton College which hosts the Retail, Hospitality & Tourism-South talent network and Rutgers University which hosts Health Care talent network.

Camden is one of seven cities receiving similar grants totaling $22 million with elevated unemployment and crime rates. The other six cities are: St. Louis (MO), Baltimore (MD), Detroit (MI), Houston (TX), Charleston (SC) and Long Beach (CA).

The Christie Administration’s efforts to assist young people in the state’s urban centers include a recent pre-apprenticeship grant of approximately $500,000 for training programs in the Camden region and supporting programs like Youth Corps, Youth Build and Youth Transitions to Work.

Under the newly revamped Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – known as WIOA, which supplants and enhances the older Workforce Investment Act, New Jersey is strengthening its existing programs that serve youth and creating pathways to expand its reach.

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