The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), which aims to remove all barriers to employment for citizens returning from incarceration, announced its Summer Training Institute at a press conference at the Hudson County Community College Culinary Conference Center yesterday in Jersey City.
The inaugural Summer Training Institute aims to provide 175 court-involved young adults, ages 18-25, the opportunity to undergo significant job training and industry-recognized credentialization this summer.
“What we are doing is understanding the importance of training and industry-recognized credentials,” said former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who is the founder of the NJRC. “Through this work, we will change people’s lives.”
Hudson County Community College, along with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, RWJ Barnabas, and local labor and carpenters’ unions will provide training and accreditation for program participants.
“We have been honored to work to provide ‘industry-recognized’ credentials to NJRC program participants across a wide range of skill-based training from phlebotomy to welding,” said Hudson County Community College President Chris Reber. “The NJRC Summer Training Institute will provide young adults with skills and a direction, which will establish future careers.”
The Summer Training Institute will consist of two summer cohorts both in the infrastructure and healthcare industries. “These are two industries that have understood the importance of providing industry-recognized credentials to young court involved persons,” McGreevey said.
Track one will provide those with a training package in infrastructure related-programming, including construction, forklift, and OSHA-30, while track two will train participants interested in entering the medical field, including emergency response, emergency medical technician, phlebotomy and peer recovery specialists.
“The job pipeline NJRC has developed with HCCC will encourage persons to move from this five-week training program to longer-term, one-year professional apprenticeship training to secure skill-based building trades,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), which is a full partner with NJRC. “Both of these two tracks, general construction and healthcare/phlebotomy, have demonstrated a reentry friendly disposition, which will ensure that specialized job training results in good jobs and rewarding careers.”
Of particular note, New Jersey is set to receive more than $12 billion in the next five years in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. According to McGreevey, “The infrastructure training pathways of the program will prove critical not only to these young adults, but to the state, regional and local economies, and demonstrates NJRC’s commitment to providing jobs to meet state economic goals.”
Participants of the Summer Training Institute will also be afforded access to NJRC’s wraparound services, including enrollment in federal (Medicaid) and state (General Assistance, SNAP, DVR) benefit programs, as well as the offerings of the Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center, providing medical, behavioral, and dental health diagnostic screenings. NJRC will also partner with the Hudson County Department of Housing & Reintegration to provide supportive family services.
Applications for the Summer Training Institute will begin online on May 22 (at Eventbrite or www.njreentry.org). In-person registration will be offered at the NJRC Training Center on May 23, June 1, and June 6.
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