ELIZABETH, NJ – As announced in last week’s TAPinto Elizabeth Legislative Breakfast article, two new Family Success Centers are planned for Union and Rahway, adding to the center already in operation in Elizabeth on Maple Avenue.
They are part of a Union County’s Focus on Families initiative, funded by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and implemented by United Way of Greater Union. In addition, a Youth Employment Program will open by the end of the year.
The initiative will integrate economic development, workforce development and family services in a comprehensive effort to support families, particularly those most in need, integrating the UWGUC Family Success Center model with resources and programs offered through the Union County Families Resource Network (The Network).
The Network is a partnership created by United Way of Greater Union County in 2008 and brings together social service agencies, community-based organizations, employers, and training facilities, and resource providers that promote strengthening families. Through the management of a consortium of service providers, UWGUC will also implement a new youth employment initiative known as the Youth Employment and Training program funded by the Union County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The consortium will collectively provide services customized to train and employ 150 teens and young adults ages 14-21years old. The initiative will officially begin July 1st and run through 2016.
The program is designed to find and engage employers who will provide summer internships, year-round pre-apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities. Youth will also receive supportive services that include adult mentoring, guidance and counseling (mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.), financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills training, tutoring, study skills training, and dropout prevention services. The intent is to expose youth to the workplace and teach them the responsibilities of keeping and excelling in a job, and ultimately a career.
“When our families do well, the community thrives,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh, who announced the program as part of his initiatives as Chairman for 2015, and serves as a liaison to the WIB. “Our families must have the basics – jobs that provide enough income to support a decent standard of living, safe streets, effective schools, and affordable health care. This initiative creates a comprehensive partnership between private, non-profit and government sectors in Union County and leverages our effort in support of these goals.”