With Essex County College as the backdrop, U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, D-NJ, announced October 1 that $15 million in federal funding has been awarded to 12 New Jersey community colleges. Of that total, Essex County College received $819,100 to train students for jobs in the healthcare field.
“These job training programs are critical for workforce development and preparing Newark and Essex County residents for relevant and substantial employment,” said Essex County College President Dr. Gale E. Gibson.
Also attending the press conference were U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr, D-10, and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, officials that are aware for the need of training new healthcare providers in a rapidly burgeoning field.
This is Essex’s third U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.
“Today is a celebration,” said Senator Cory Booker. “We have to focus on preparing our young people for the future. “ He added there is a crisis in the healthcare industry with four million jobs nation-wide going unfilled. Programs such as the Department of Labor initiative are addressing this shortfall, the Senator added.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez promised this program is just the beginning. “We are preparing the next generation of healthcare providers through public-private partnerships. But we have so much more to do.”
Congressman Donald M. Payne, D-10, said the grant award ties in with the Affordable Care Act. “With more Americans in need of quality healthcare, we need people who can provide that care.” The Congressman promised to continue to advocate in Congress for training programs “to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future.”
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo termed the news announced as one that will help everyone by creating more good jobs and for the healthcare it will ultimately provide.
Dr. Gibson credited Essex County College Associate Dean Keith Kirkland, Community & Extension Programs and Mitra Choudhury, Director, Training, Inc. and their staff that worked on the application grant submission.
Essex County College previously received U.S. DOL TAACCT grants of $2.75 million for cyber security and networks, software development and health information technology, and a singular $1,037,225 grant to create a set of credentials in Supply Chain Management. That program will consist of eight credentials that will provide workers with skills for entry and middle-level employment in the logistics industry.
From left to right are Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo; Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); Congressman Donald M. Payne (D-10); Essex County College President Dr. Gale E. Gibson; Essex County College Board of Trustee Chair Calvin Souder, Esq.; Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Essex County Board of Trustees Jeweline Grimes and Rita J. Sallis.