Business & Finance

Newark employment prep program grads look forward to future

9760eb242c95b4ba59a7_RWJGrad-1-1200x800.jpg
Graduates of the Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp pose with Marc E. Berson vice chair of the board of trustees of RWJBarnabas Health, a sponsor of the local employment program. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
9760eb242c95b4ba59a7_RWJGrad-1-1200x800.jpg

Three months ago, Fatima Hargrove was looking for work. After completing a five-week job readiness program sponsored by the Newark municipal government and the city's corporate partners, she celebrated her graduation, newly employed and engaged in her future.

"I let the past go," said Hargrove, holding a bouquet and choking back tears as she addressed more than 100 people at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center on Tuesday. "Unemployment is not forever. We're getting past that not just to employment, but to success and to a future."

Hargrove was one of 20 graduates of the third class of the Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp, a program that is designed to prepare Newark residents for entry level positions with Newark-based employers. The intensive program includes improving social skills and presentation and employability, site visits to potential employers coaching, and job preparation.

Sign Up for E-News

"We have some folks that need a little polishing, and when they get polished, they're going to shine," said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who began the program in 2016. "We've reached out to anchor companies in Newark about what we're doing. Imagine if companies such as Verizon, Prudential and Audible did what's happening here today." 

"Greatness starts in the community, and what this represents in a big step forward," said Marc E. Berson, vice chair of the board of trustees of RWJBarnabas Health, a sponsor of the local employment program. "Once upon a time, the hospital focused on what happened within the buildings. Today, we look outside to the community, and we have plans for the wards [of Newark]. We want to make this program work. It's what the future is about." 

Baraka said job readiness fits into the city's Newark2020 job program to be launched in the next few weeks, designed to encourage to Newark businesses to hire locally and for residents to buy property and continue to live in the city.

"We have to identify the industries that are growing, train Newark residents to get them into those jobs, and incentivize people to live in the city," the mayor said.

"Health care is a critical component of the revitalization of Newark," said Darrell K. Terry, Sr., President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. "We can build a lot of buildings in downtown, and I'm all for it. But until we impact the residents who live here and their families, the true realization has not occurred." 

Takia Filmore, a graduate of the second class of the program, is an example of what the sponsors of this initiative hope to achieve. She recently got a new job in health care, has started her own cake-making business, and just bought her first home with her husband.

"So many great things have happened since I sat in the same seat as you," Filmore said to the new graduates. "You guys have so much to look forward to, no matter what path you choose." 

After traveling a rocky road, Hargove's path is now quite promising. Once homeless, she now has a place to live. She will be working and studying at the same time, having been recently accepted to Essex County College. Even more importantly, Hargrove has now accepted how to improve her life.

"I had to learn to things about myself to make change," Hargrove, smiling as she received congratulations from her classmates. "I want to change. I want to do better for myself. This program helped me accept who I can be."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newark

McGovern's summer renovation closing party celebrates change

June 16, 2018

It always takes a few seconds for your eyes to adjust when you walk into McGovern's Tavern in Newark, a downtown fixture since 1936.

But this Friday afternoon, there were two immediate sights that demonstrated something was different.

First, most of the photos, portraits, and articles that cover the bar's walls were removed, the relics of decades of history gone.

Second, you ...

Newark men honored for serving as role models by the Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation

June 11, 2018

Newark, NJ—Three local men and one corporation received awards from the Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS) Foundation at its annual “Fathers for our Children” Awards Ceremony and Scholarship Fundraiser.

This year’s award recipients are Modia "Mo" Butler, political strategist; the late Dr. Fabian Rice of RWJ/ Barnabas Health’s ...

Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan dies

June 20, 2018

Kevin Ryan, a former Assemblyman from Nutley who served as an Essex County Undersheriff, has died.

Ryan, 49, served for nearly two decades in the Essex County Sheriff's Office, rising to the rank of undersheriff. He also served a year beginning in January 2011 as State Assemblyman before redistricting changes.  

Ryan was a close confidante of Essex County Sheriff ...

50 years after RFK assassination, the NBHS band’s moment is remembered

June 7, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a warm June day in 1968, 40 members of the New Brunswick High School band stood on the city train platform playing solemn hymns.

It was supposed to be a one-hour performance as they waited the train traveling from New York to Washington, carrying the body of a slain presidential candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

But one-hour dragged into two, and then three, as ...

Got junk? Rutgers students do

June 1, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - On a thin tripod of supports, the black charcoal grill sat on top of love seat that was half on the street, half on the curb, outside a Delafield Street apartment.

As the college year ends, and this generation of Rutgers students empty out of apartments, their well-used but now discarded remains line city curbs, and sometimes spill into ...

Hearing Loss Common in School-Aged Children

May 30, 2018

With close to 15% of U.S. children ages 6–19 experiencing hearing loss, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) notes that May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

“Some children are born ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

When staying overnight at a friend’s or family’s place, it is important to maintain the same sleep practices as you do at home. Your baby should be sleeping in a safe, modern crib that meets the latest ...