On Friday, the school was announced as the recipient of a one-year, $850,000 investment from the financial company. HCCC officials said the school will use grant for its “Gateway to Innovation” initiative, a program the college developed to address the challenges of the economic crisis in Hudson County that were brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is designed to provide lasting improvement in the County’s workforce ecosystem.
“We are exceedingly grateful to JPMorgan Chase for funding our ‘Gateway to Innovation’ initiative,” President Chris Reber said. “This program is strategically aligned with needs related to the community’s COVID-19 challenges, and the college’s student success and ‘Hudson Helps’ initiatives.”
Reber said the Gateway to Innovation project was developed to provide short-term, upskilling credential attainment opportunities in health care; career services for alumni in areas such as health care, information technology, finance, insurance and logistics; enhanced non-academic support for students, including financial counseling and access to benefits such as WIC, SNAP and citizenship guidance; and deeper engagement with employers in technology, finance and other recession-resistant sectors that will lead to resilient career pathways.
Abby Marquand, vice president, global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, said the organization understands Hudson County have been uniquely impacted by challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are proud to support Hudson County Community College in their effort to develop and enhance sustainable career pipelines that will help more people get back to work in in-demand industries,” she said.
Over the course of the next year, HCCC will focus on building relationships with area employers to define in-demand skill sets; recruiting industry experts for adjunct teaching as well as faculty externships and experiential learning for students; and creating new programs that support and increase student retention and graduation and engage alumni. The initiative also will target dislocated workers from retail, hospitality and service sectors and help prepare them for recession-resistant careers in health care, including Certified Nursing Assistant, patient care technician, pharmacy technician and hemodialysis technician positions.
HCCC Vice President for External Affairs Nicholas Chiaravalloti said the grant will be a huge help.
“The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected many Hudson County businesses, and financially imperiled our students and fellow Hudson County residents,” he said. “This grant provides the opportunity to assess and address current needs, and to determine and develop strategies and partnerships in several key sectors of our community.”
Employers, community members, students and alumni may obtain more information about the HCCC “Gateway to Innovation” initiative, and how to participate in it, by contacting Lori Margolin, HCCC dean of continuing education and workforce development, at LMargolin@hccc.edu or 201-360-4242.