RWJBarnabas Health President Publicly Pledges to Hire 350 Newarkers by 2020

Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, proudly joined Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark corporate partners, educational institutions and community stakeholders to announce a landmark initiative designed to strengthen the city’s economy.

The groundbreaking partnership – Hire. Buy. Live. Newark – marks the first time that any United States city has sought to transform its economy by combining employment, procurement and residential strategies.

Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, is led and coordinated by Mayor Baraka who brought the city’s leading institutions to the table and created the vision for comprehensive economic development by combining the three strategies: Newark 2020, which will connect 2020 of the city’s unemployed to full-time living wage jobs by the year 2020 and includes training and hiring pathways to the jobs identified as being available to Newark residents. Every unemployed and underemployed Newark resident will be able to benefit. Buy Newark which will support the growth of local businesses and match them to the purchasing needs of other Newark businesses large and small; and, Live Newark which will attract more employees, faculty and students to live in the city and provide existing residents with additional rental and homeownership choices and incentives.

Ostrowsky was the first corporate partner to address the overflow attendees at the Newark City Hall Press Conference comprised of other leaders of Newark’s major organizations, colleges and universities, public schools, clergy and community development organizations, among others, all of which are partnering in Hire. Buy. Live. Newark.

“Our mission is to ensure that we do everything we can to improve the lives of the people who live in Newark, work in Newark, and shop in Newark.  As anchor institutions, RWJBarnabas Health’s Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, will invest in the City and make the vision of the greatness of Newark a reality.

“I am incredibly proud to be among my colleagues here today who represent great institutions when I state that RWJBarnabas Health shall pledge publicly to hire 350 Newarkers by 2020.”

Ostrowsky emphasized that vendors doing business with RWJBarnabas Health have already been told that RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) is looking to encourage vendors to subcontract with local Newark businesses, to relocate their headquarters or warehouses to Newark and to have a durable sustainable relationship with RWJBH, these vendors must hire people from Newark.

RWJBarnabas Health has for several years executed successful hiring and employment programs. Two examples:

Hire Newark: Employment Ready Boot Camp is a non-traditional job readiness program in which Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka have partnered.  The program provides opportunities to prepare members of the Newark community for entry level positions with Newark-based employers. The program consists of a five-week immersive curriculum that includes: social and presentation modules, management and employability skills, site visits to potential employers to assess organizational and/or industry culture, and one-on-one coaching, preparation and readiness assessments. Hire Newark is part of Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Centers of Hope initiative. To date there have been 36 graduates in three classes, with graduation rates of 100 percent and employment rates of 95 percent. On June 20, 2017, Hire Newark: Employment Ready Boot Camp received the 2017 NJBIZ Education Hero Award.

The Student Learning Experience Program (SLEP ) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey is a unique program that offers high school students with learning challenges the opportunity to complete their senior year of high school at Newark Beth Israel. The students spend a portion of the day receiving onsite classroom instruction from a Newark Public School special education instructor and another portion of their day learning from hospital staff and contributing to hospital departments. By the end of the program these students meet the academic requirements for graduation and have worked alongside employee mentors in various hospital departments based on their interests and abilities. Through the Structured Learning Experience Program, which began 11 years ago, Newark Beth Israel has provided internship opportunities for more than 150 special needs students. Many of these students go on to careers in healthcare. The Structured Learning Experience Program is a 2016 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero Award finalist. The program was also honored by the Essex County and Newark Workforce Development Boards’ Disability Issues Committee as an Employer Who Champions Employment for People with Disabilities.

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