The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) has expanded its Workforce Development program with the introduction of the Warehouse Logistics Training Academy (WLTA). The free eight-week course, offered in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Labor, teaches students about inventory management, compliance, purchasing, fulfillment, and transportation safety to prepare them for jobs in logistics and warehouse settings. Graduates also receive Six Sigma Yellow Belt certifications.
WLTA is the newest addition to CFBNJ’s Workforce Development program, which provides no-cost on-the-job training to help neighbors in need achieve sustainable careers with livable wages. The program also includes CFBNJ’s Food Service Training Academy (FSTA), which started in 2000 and has since graduated more than 2,600 students who have gone on to work in the food service industry. CFBNJ’s Workforce Development efforts seek to shorten food pantry lines by addressing the root cause of hunger – poverty.
The Workforce Development program has a 95% job placement rate after graduation. Graduates have been hired at Atlantic Health System, United Airlines, Wonder, and many other companies. Others have started businesses, and the FoodBank has also hired graduates to work in its own warehouse and kitchen.
Fednel Darius is one such graduate who completed the WLTA course in December 2022 and now works full-time in CFBNJ’s 285,000-square-foot warehouse, receiving shipments, picking pantries’ orders, loading up trucks, and more. A lifelong resident of Irvington, Fednel was his graduating class’s valedictorian.
Growing up, he saw food insecurity firsthand in his community, and now he enjoys his job at CFBNJ because he can make a difference in the area he’s from.
“In the WLTA program, I got more experience and knowledge of the warehouse,” Fednel said. “I learned leadership, innovation, and problem solving that I use now as an employee.”
“CFBNJ’s Workforce Development efforts empower our neighbors to support themselves and their families with careers that they’re passionate about,” said Dr. Elaine Sanders, Director of Workforce Development at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “Capable employees in the warehouse logistics and food service fields are in high demand right now. By providing students with marketable job skills, we can make a long-term difference in their abilities to put food on the table.”
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