Training Not Just for Jobs, But for Careers
CareerWorks: Greater Newark Workforce Funders Collaborative (GNWFC) creates innovative, sustainable workforce development solutions in northern New Jersey that enable low-skilled workers to advance in careers and businesses to compete. The initiative develops employer-led or employer-centric workforce partnerships in growth industries to advance economic development. It follows the award-winning National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) workforce partnership model, in which educators train to the specific needs of employers. Employers commit to hiring job seekers and advancing incumbent workers who go through career training.
CareerWorks is New Jersey's only National Fund for Workforce Solutions collaborative and is managed by the Newark Alliance. It brings private foundation funding and aligned public dollars — $2,250,000 over three years — to bear on workforce issues. The Collaborative supports workforce partnerships focused on a dual bottom line: meeting needs of employers in high growth/high wage industries and meeting the needs of low-income workers. The initiative is currently focusing on two major sectors in New Jersey’s economy: a) healthcare and b) transportation, logistics, and distribution (TLD).
“Strategic Philanthropic Innovations helped CareerWorks bring multiple northern New Jersey stakeholders together to move from the conceptual idea of leveraging private pooled funding to enabling low-skilled adults to upgrade their skills and advance along career paths through four Workforce Partnerships.” – Kathy Weaver, Vice President of Programs, Newark Alliance
“We couldn’t have developed private/public funding and skills training as quickly without SPI technical advice and shared learning of best practices that SPI brokered with peer National Fund for Workforce Solutions Collaboratives from around the country.” – Regina Barboza, Program Officer, CareerWorks: Greater Newark Workforce Funders Collaborative
● Awarded two grants totaling $200,000 to Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest, Inc. – Barnabas Health Workforce Partnership to upgrade the skills of more than 400 incumbent workers.
● Awarded $100,000 grant to Jersey City Medical Center to advance 24 incumbent workers through training in electronic medical records and multi-skills healthcare technology. A 2nd-year grant will advance 25 workers into Patient Care Techs & Emergency Medical Techs
● Trained 215 workers in basic computer skills, enabling them to log onto the "Bridge" intranet career-development platform
● Prepared 40 participants who were dietary and housekeeping aide workers for the higher-paying position of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The pre-CNA program offered basic computer, medical terminology, communications, and the job-related technical training. All 40 participants recently completed an Essex County College (ECC) CNA class, a third of participants have received state certifications, and many have been placed in advanced positions.
● Launched pilot program for EMT training: 190-hour, three-month training program to connect those who pass certification with full-time employment opportunities. Connected 13 graduates to Newark Jobs Connect for placement. Starting a 2nd program for 24 job seekers.