June 25, 2012 - MAYOR BOOKER AND DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR HARRIS ANNOUNCE $3 MILLION GRANT TO NEWARK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD AT NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
For Immediate Release
MAYOR BOOKER AND DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR HARRIS ANNOUNCE $3 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT
TO NEWARK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD AT NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Funding will be used to improve data assessment and build a workforce system
to better deliver services to Newark job-seekers, including underserved communities
Newark, NJ – June 22, 2012 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Harold Wirths, Newark Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Nelida Valentin, New Jersey Institute of Technology Senior Vice President Dr. Donald Sebastian, and Crestron Senior Director of Human Resources Martin Devaney yesterday announced the most recent award of a $3 million federal grant to the Newark Workforce Investment Board, and an earlier award to New Jersey Institute of Technology for Technical Skills Training, at NJIT’s Eberhart Hall, at 154 Summit Street, in Newark’s Central Ward.
The Newark Workforce Investment Board will receive approximately $3 million through the US Labor Department’s Workforce Innovation Fund grant program. This funding will be used to improve data assessment, collection and analysis, and to build a workforce system using techniques pioneered in law enforcement and city government to better deliver services to Newark’s job seekers, including underserved communities – representing the first time these techniques will be applied to the workforce system.
“Job creation starts locally and this administration is leading the charge to help Newarkers get back to work. This Workforce Innovation Fund grant gives us the opportunity to continue to reduce unemployment and build a more robust workforce development and job placement system by providing resources to build capacity, implement new technology, and develop and incentivize accountability. It will strengthen and empower our efforts to transform Newark, and enhance our position as a national model for urban change,” Mayor Booker said.
“I think Newark is going to offer a model we’re going to replicate around the United States,” said Deputy Secretary Harris. “It’s a trial. As far as I know, it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country.”
In attendance were Newark Alliance Vice President and Newark Workforce Investment Board Chairperson, Kathy Weaver, District 1199J Executive Director Stephanie Harris-Kuiper, Employment Services Manager Morris Murray, Director of Management & Operations for Economic Development Arcelio Aponte, all members of the Newark Workforce Investment Board. Also in attendance was the President of Essex County College, Dr. Edythe Abdullah, who is a member of the Board’s Youth Investment Council.
“The award of this grant shows that we are on the right track by continuing the momentum of building local infrastructure to incorporate technology and include staff in our workforce system to support a robust pipeline for talent development. This provides job seekers with the skills needed by businesses to remain competitive both in the local and global marketplace. The pathway Newark is paving could only be possible with strong support and visionary leadership. We are fortunate to have great support from our State partners, and as importantly, from our local Newark City leadership led by Mayor Booker,” said Executive Director Valentin.
Director Valentin also noted the achievements of the Workforce Investment Board, which include establishing a business development initiative with Brick City Development Corporation, the City’s development arm, and the creation of “Newark Jobs Connect,” which reaches local residents with information about jobs in Newark through social media like Facebook, Twitter, text messages, and e-mail. The board has also worked with the Office of Reentry to align the services of the Newark Workforce Center (also known as the Newark One-Stop) to help returning ex-offenders find jobs. Through initiatives like these, the Newark Workforce Investment Board has been pressing greater innovations and setting the right priorities. The Board oversees workforce services provided by NewarkWORKS and Career Center partners. NewarkWORKS has been consistently exceeding all State and Federal performance benchmarks.
Additionally, in February, NJIT was awarded a $5 million Labor Department’s H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant. Partnering with the North Jersey Partners Workforce Investment Board Consortium, industry partners, local community colleges and other business alliances, NJIT will provide training in high-wage, high-demand information technology occupations to help fill vacancies that otherwise would go to foreign labor using H-1B visas. The Newark Workforce Investment Board is a member of the North Jersey Partners Workforce Investment Board Consortium.Both grants provide funding for local institutions to develop innovative strategies to train workers for a 21st century economy.
“New Jersey led the formation of America's industrial base during at the end of the 19th Century. Newark was the hub for what became the electric power, petrochemical, pharmaceuticals, plastics, broadcast, and telecommunications industries,” said Dr. Sebastian. “All of these sectors are experiencing dramatic change in their core technologies. Training our workforce to meet these needs is critical to restoring our city and nation to its heritage of global leadership. These grants are recognition that we are doing the right things.”
Since taking office in July 2006, the Booker administration has made meaningful employment for Newark residents a high priority, and the administration has pursued that goal with creative and innovative approaches. These have included the creation of NewarkWORKS, a one-stop employment center that offers job counseling, on-line searches, access to educational and vocational programs, and partnerships with employers and public and private sector organizations. Other initiatives have included job fairs, youth internship and mentoring programs, efforts to ensure that employers in Newark provide jobs to residents, and the creation of Family Success Centers and Fatherhood Success Centers to help residents with their job search, interview, and workplace skills. The Mayor has also prioritized finding employment for returning veterans with his support of the GI Go Fund and its programs, as well as breaking cycles of unemployment, poverty, and recidivism by creating and supporting ex-prisoners with re-entry programs to help them gain jobs, find housing and medical care, and receive counseling.
For more information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
Contact: Press Information Office: (973) 733-8004
Department of Labor – Joanna Hawkins: (215) 205-4457
Leni Fortson: (215) 861-5102
Adam J. Brickman: (202) 693-6086
NJIT – Sheryl Weinstein: (973) 596-3436
About New Jersey Institute of Technology
NJIT, New Jersey’s science and technology university, enrolls more than 9,558 students pursuing bachelor's, master’s and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2011 Annual Guide to America’s Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Office of Continuing Professional Education.
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. Its population showed growth in the most recent census. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The rate of production of affordable housing has doubled, and new businesses are moving in. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.