CAMDEN RISING YEAR IN REVIEW - BUILDING OPPORTUNITY NOW AND FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Capitalizing on investments to sustain a viable workforce to support current and future commercial development is key to successful redevelopment in Camden. Employers, educators, and community groups are collaborating to provide workforce development programs that match residents who are work ready with open positions and provide the training they need to be successful.
More children are leaving Camden schools with diplomas because the district is implementing innovative programs to get involved with students when help is needed most. With initiatives that embrace parent involvement, school choices, and community partnerships, graduation rates and test scores continue to rise creating a cradle to career educational system for Camden’s youth.
Holtec Training and Employment Program
A One-Stop collaboration with Camden County College and the energy technology company, Holtec connected city residents with opportunities for training in professional welding techniques. Thus far, 15 residents have completed the program and are continuing their training on the job as manufacturing support assistants at Holtec. The company plans to deepen its collaboration with the One-Stop to fill future administrative positions as well.
Certificate Training in Medical Assistantships
In partnership with Hopeworks ’N Camden and the Rowan University/Rutgers–Camden Board of Governors, the One-Stop also offers certificate training in medical assistantships (CMA). Successful program participants attain CMA credentials; those who fail to meet that standard can get trained as patient care technicians. The program will welcome its third class in late 2018.
Cooper University Health Care Medical Coding Program
Cooper University Healthcare joined city and county officials last fall to announce a free medical coding education with a promise of a position for applicants who complete the program. The Cooper Health Careers Initiative (CHCI) offers the program for those looking for employment in medical coding. Training is available for high school graduates and those with GEDs, as well as those working toward one. The program is also open to current high school seniors enrolled at Camden County Technical Schools. The CHCI aims to create a seamless transition from training to a rewarding career in health care.
PowerCorps Camden puts young people to work renewing the city’s public lands and green spaces while training for work in the green-collar economy. An AmeriCorps program, PowerCorps offers six months in which participants get hands-on training in green infrastructure, stormwater management, water quality, and community sustainability.
Hopeworks ’N Camden
For 17 years, Hopeworks ’N Camden has helped train Camden youth in web development, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Salesforce database software to prepare them for information technology careers. For city residents ages 14 to 25, the programs are a pathway back to school and a job thereafter, and rely on principles of entrepreneurship and trauma-informed caretaking.
The agency was the 2016 Nonprofit Organization of the Year as chosen by the Nonprofit Development Center of Southern New Jersey. In 2017, it took home the Scattergood National Innovation Award and was named one of Comcast/NBCUniversal’s National Tech Impact All-Stars.
More children are leaving Camden schools with diplomas because the district is implementing innovative programs to get involved with students when help is needed most. With initiatives that embrace parent involvement, school choices, and community partnerships, and collaboration with the city’s higher education institutions, graduation rates and test scores continue to rise.
Thanks to the Camden City School District’s partnerships with charter and Renaissance schools, quality school options are available for thousands of children. The district has streamlined the application process too, going from 17 different school applications to one straightforward process for students to apply.
In 2017, the district offered even more support to schools, placing a climate and culture coordinator in every building. These mentors maintain a positive school environment while introducing alternative consequences that don’t exclude students from the opportunity to learn.
There is still much work to do, but the community as a whole is rolling up its sleeves and continuing the work that will build on the city’s momentum in improving education.