The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice hosted a commencement ceremony on December 15th , for 20 graduates from its Environmental Remediation Job Training Program, which prepares residents of the greater Newark area for meaningful employment to support themselves and their families.
Program participants are often low-income, have low literacy levels and have little access to opportunities. Many are returning home after incarceration. The Institute’s Environmental Remediation Job Training Program ensures participants have the skills and knowledge needed for careers in the green economy.
“NJISJ, I feel, has gone above and beyond their means to give second chances to individuals that may have had troubles in their past; and may feel inadequate, unable to compete in today's corporate world. We've been given a chance to show ourselves and society differently. This program has shown me that no matter what situations of your past, through hard work and dedication anyone can make a positive change in their life. ,” said Roberto Sewall during the graduation ceremony at PSEG corporate headquarters in Newark.
“The Institute’s Workforce Development and Training Programs – and the success of our participants -- are a vital part of our mission,” said NJISJ Interim President and CEO Jerome C. Harris, Jr. “When our graduates find stable, good-paying jobs, that reverberates through their families and, ultimately, through our communities.” The commencement was the culmination of a 14-week program that included academic instruction, technical skills training and comprehensive case management.
The program also offers job placement and retention services and maintains a relationship with participants for a minimum of six months after graduation. The Environmental Remediation Job Training Program prepares participants for state licenses and certifications in OSHA 30 (construction site safety), OSHA 40 (Hazardous Waste Operator Emergency Response, or HAZWOPER), asbestos removal, lead abatement and confined space entry.
The Institute has offered the Workforce Development and Training Programs since 2001 and has helped more than a thousand individuals become apprentices in the skilled trades or find other employment. Graduates typically earn 51 percent above minimum wage, and the current placement rate is 78 percent.