auto mechanic

Christie Administration Funds Automotive Training Course

An Opportunity4Jersey Grant provided through the Christie Administration is helping 50 students obtain employer-selected skills in automotive maintenance and repair at the New Community Workforce Development Center, which was toured today by members of the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“This training program enlists and involves private-sector employers, which ensures that the trained workers are getting the exact skills the market demands. It also increases their opportunities for finding employment soon after graduation. That is what made the New Community Workforce Development Center’s Automotive Technician Training Program a perfect fit for one of our Opportunity4Jersey grants,” said Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Deputy Commissioner Aaron Fichtner and other department staff today toured the New Community center and met the students, along with representatives of major automotive companies and training arms that are part of the program.

“This program falls perfectly in line with our industry-focused approach to re-employment in New Jersey. We hope to return unemployed people to work by providing them with the skills that are identified by our major employers as crucial to their operational needs,” said Deputy Commissioner Fichtner.

The employers involved in the training include Ford, Toyota, The BMW STEP program, the Elsy Goodyear Automotive Repair Center of Newark, Sansone Auto Mall of Avenel and the DCH Auto Group. Collectively, the employers touch on nearly every major automobile model marketed in the United States.

“Our partnership with employers in the automotive industry serves as a vital link for job seekers, such as participants in this class, who possess a valuable skill set and are ready to enter the workforce,” said New Community CEO Richard Rohrman.

The students, who ranged in ages from 20 to mid-40s, were recruited through various community organizations, the state One-Stop Career Center system, New Jersey’s Transportation, Logistics and Distribution Talent Network and an open enrollment process. The Talent Network is one of seven created around New Jersey’s seven key industry clusters, which pay more than two-thirds of wages in the state and employ more than two-thirds of Garden State workers.

The $260,000 Opportunity4Jersey grant was issued under a state Labor Department program designed to help build a pipeline of future employees for New Jersey’s key industry clusters. The other six targeted clusters include: Advanced Manufacturing; Financial Services; Health Care; Life Sciences; Retail, Hospitality and Tourism, and Technology & Entrepreneurship.

“New Community Workforce Development Center appreciates the support from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in underwriting the cost of this program. The added value of this initiative is our partnership with multiple employers, all of which agreed to hire program completers,” said Rodney Brutton, New Community Director of Workforce Development. “A program like this gives job-seekers confidence. It provides a purpose in life and helps them strive to reach the ultimate goal of being self-sufficient and lay a foundation for a better future.”

The training began in June and will offer the students 1,200 hours of training, including 700 hours of classroom instruction with 500 hours in an internship. The training covers all areas related to vehicle maintenance and repair. Students will receive 31 industry recognized credentials pertaining to Steering and Suspension, Brakes, Electrical/Electrical Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, and Hybrid maintenance.

The students also will be prepared for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certifications.

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