Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the City of Elizabeth are partnering in a new jobs initiative funded through a grant of $2.3 million from the Jobs Plus program of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth is one of only nine public housing agencies nationwide to receive a grant from the Jobs Plus program.
The Jobs Plus program is designed to support work readiness and connect public housing residents with employment, education, and financial empowerment services. The $2.3 million in funding will connect Union County’s American Job Center with public housing residents through the Mravlag Manor Community Center at 688 Maple Avenue in Elizabeth.
“Winning this competitive award demonstrates that Union County and the City of Elizabeth have the resources and collaborative experience to build on the success of the Jobs Plus program, which is an evidence-based model that is proven to help public housing residents find and keep jobs,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are all looking forward to a successful and productive partnership on behalf of the residents of Union County.”
“The Jobs Plus program is designed to support work readiness and connect public housing residents with employment, education, and financial empowerment services.” said Freeholder Sergio Granados, who is the Freeholder Board liaison to the Union County Workforce Development Board. “As an Elizabeth resident, I am proud to work alongside my colleagues on the Freeholder Board collaboratively on this effort and look forward to the partnerships in our community that will provide tremendous beneficial services for our residents.”
“I want to thank the Department of Housing & Urban Development and all of those involved in securing this valuable funding for Elizabeth,” said Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “This grant will allow us to equip residents with the knowledge and skills needed to gain employment in some of our fastest growing sectors. Investing in our residents is a key part of how we grow our economy and help families build a future.”
“It is our hope that the collective resources coming to Mravlag through the JOBS PLUS grant can help all our residents, young and old, to identify their passions and set their course for success; to assist our working residents to increase their earnings and start saving; to remove barriers for all adults trying to enter or re-enter the workforce; and most importantly celebrate and support each of our residents in their path toward sustainable work,” said William D. Jones, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth.
The Jobs Plus program expands on a successful demonstration program model that combines traditional employment, training, and job placement services with a rent incentive and a place-based investment in building community support for work. The program requires public housing authorities to partner locally with Department of Labor Workforce Development Boards and American Jobs Centers.
Additionally, Jobs Plus grantees are required to demonstrate a twenty-five percent match from community partners, providing wrap-around supportive services to improve employment and earnings outcomes.
Under the partnership with the Housing Authority, Union County will commit a total of $672,000 including affordable health coverage, mental health and addiction services, and transportation assistance, from February 2020 to August 2024, in addition to employment related services including case management, career readiness skills training, career exploration and job readiness workshops, job search and placement assistance, entrepreneurship workshops, on-the-job training, internships, apprenticeships, additional education and training opportunities, and more.
Union County provides employment services and job training for all eligible Union County residents through the American Job Centers at two locations, 921 Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth and 200 West 2nd Street in Plainfield.
To contact the Elizabeth American Job Center call 908-558-8000 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To contact the Plainfield American Job Center call 908-757-9090 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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