Nearly a dozen students have graduated from a new Train-to-Hire program in New Brunswick and will be placed on the job site for the 510,000-square-foot Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center that is now under construction in the city. — Courtesy: Jingoli
By Joshua Burd
A job training program tied to the construction of a new cancer hospital in New Brunswick has graduated its first class, with the help of city business leaders and anchor institutions.
Eleven students, many with limited or no prior construction experience, gathered last Wednesday to mark the completion of the 12-week Train-to-Hire course, paving the way for them to be placed on the job site in the weeks ahead. They’ve done so after an intensive program that will support the development and construction of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, a planned 510,000-square-foot facility that broke ground in late June.
The program is made possible by New Brunswick Development Corp., or Devco, and construction management firm Jingoli, which sponsored the initiative in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. APEX Solutions Group, a minority- and veteran-owned business known for uplifting communities, led the class.
“We’ve been fortunate to partner with Christopher Paladino and Devco previously in Atlantic City and thank him for his commitment in helping us to identify candidates for this class and for working with APEX Solutions Group to train New Brunswick residents to work on this project,” said Joseph Jingoli, CEO of Lawrenceville-based Jingoli. “APEX has helped take Train-to-Hire to new heights here in New Brunswick, collaborating to provide opportunities to those seeking careers in the construction fields.”
Part of an existing program created by Jingoli, Train-to-Hire integrated cooperative education experiences with an academic program by teaching and prioritizing practical hands-on construction training and successful career management skills, according to a news release. Participants in New Brunswick were exposed to an intensive curriculum covering construction math, HVAC, electrical work and job site safety, as well as soft skills such as resume writing and job interview preparation.
The initial cohort ranged in age from 19 to 44 and was identified through community outreach to New Brunswick’s faith-based organizations, including graduates of the Middlesex County Drug Court, according to Devco. Upon graduation, participants will be placed in jobs with Jingoli and qualified subcontractors associated with the construction of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center on Somerset Street, which will be operated by RWJBarnabas and Rutgers Cancer Institute when it opens in 2024.
“The level of training this group of individuals received in 12 weeks was outstanding — Devco is proud to be a part of this program which has proved to be life-altering for past participants,” Devco President Christopher Paladino said. “I wish them every success as they begin their new career path.”
Jingoli created what’s known as Competitive Edge, the umbrella program, to identify, train and find meaningful employment for high school students and adults who live within the cities and towns where the company performs construction and construction management work. The firm has previously deployed its programs to provide opportunities for individuals in Newark, Atlantic City and Camden.
A second cohort in New Brunswick is slated to begin in mid- to late September, pending construction scheduling.