Newark CRC Partners with Mayor’s Office to Increase Education and Employment Opportunities for Clients
The Kintock Group is excited to announce a new partnership with the City of Newark, Office of Reentry to recruit CRC clients for education/vocation and employment opportunities and assist them in obtaining gainful employment within the city of Newark. This partnership is the first of its kind between the Newark Mayor’s Office and a community resource center house.
Under the terms of the agreement, which commenced in August, representatives from the City of Newark, Office of Reentry visit the Newark Community Resource Center (CRC) weekly to provide outreach services, facilitate a presentation to the clients on employment services offered through the office and discuss eligibility requirements. Preparing clients for the workforce is the mutually shared mission of the Kintock’s Newark CRC and the Office of Reentry.
“Both the Mayor’s Office and Kintock share similar values and are working collaboratively to send a consistent message to clients that stresses the importance of education and training,” explained Pierre Francis, Newark Site Director. “Clients are encouraged to attain their GED and pursue academic programs. All of these skills will improve their marketability,” he added.
The initiative has already helped many clients improve their marketability skills by matching them to appropriate education, training and work opportunities, according to data collected by the City of Newark, Office of Reentry. Since August, approximately 25 CRC clients have been matched with employment and several others have enrolled in computer training programs through the New Jersey Institute of Science and Technology (NJIT).
“We are fortunate to have an administration under Mayor Ras J. Baraka that recognizes that education and training are essential in preparing offenders for a successful reentry into the community. We are very proud to partner with Kintock to help clients successfully transition into their community,” noted Maryam Bey, Business Relation Specialist in the City of Newark, Office of Reentry.
Clients have the opportunity to ask questions and may schedule individual follow-up sessions with Ms. Bey as well.
As a former offender himself, Mr. Ali Sawab, brings and important perspective to the weekly presentations. He speaks from the heart, sharing his experiences and encouraging clients to follow in his footsteps, when it comes to choosing to further their educational and vocational skills.
“In the world we live in today, men and women returning back to society must reenter with the understanding they will get the training, job placement and services they can utilize to better themselves to become productive members of society,” said Mr. Sawab.
“The presentations have been very beneficial in reaching clients and reinforcing the importance of education and training,” said Mr. Francis. “I am very proud we are both sending the same message that education and training are the keys to sustaining success after reentry,” he added.
Following the weekly one-hour presentation, clients may discuss opportunities with their assigned Case Manager who will arrange a pass for them to come to the Office of Reentry in Newark.
Eligible clients interested in being matched with opportunities are first screened by a representative from the Newark Office of Reentry. The first step is an intake, during which an intake counselor determines whether the client has all necessary identification documents that are required for employment. Those who do not have their ID documents are referred to The Bridges Program, which comes to the Office every Wednesday to assist clients in completing application for ID.
Once clients have their ID documents, they meet with a Job Developer. The first step in this process is to identify any barriers to employment.
“The partnership with the City of Newark allows us to refer clients to needed services offered through the City of Newark,” explained Ms. Bey. “CRC clients have access to all City of Newark services, including the One-Stop Career Center, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Mental Health, among many others,” she added.
CRC clients ready for employment benefit from the relationships that the Office of Reentry has built relationships with various companies that are amenable to hiring ex-offenders, including Shoprite, Wakefern Food Corporation and UPS, among others. To help clients prepare for interviews with these employers, the Office of Reentry staff hold mock-interviews. Other supportive services available to CRC clients though the Office of Reentry include job readiness training and links to the Newark Dress for Success organization.
“Kintock is very proud to be the first community provider to partner with the Mayor’s Office in this capacity and looks forward o continuing to work together to support the reentry efforts of our clients,” said Mr. Francis.