Eleven students from the New Brunswick area, many with limited or no prior construction experience, graduated this week from Train-to-Hire, a unique 12-week training program designed to provide them with knowledge and skills necessary for a career in the construction industry.
The class, sponsored by New Brunswick Development Corp. and Jingoli in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, will support the development and construction of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, the state’s first freestanding cancer hospital.
An integral part of the Devco/Jingoli community outreach initiative, Train-to-Hire is structured to provide the next generation of residents — as well as residents seeking a career change — with the opportunity to enter a career in the construction industry, through in-person training and professional development, with an emphasis on community service.
This class was led by APEX Solutions Group, a minority- and veteran-owned business known for uplifting communities, and integrated cooperative education experiences with an academic program by teaching and prioritizing practical hands-on construction training and successful career management skills.
Participants of the program were exposed to an intensive curriculum covering construction math, HVAC, electrical work and job-site safety, as well as soft skills including resume writing and job interview preparation.
Train-to-Hire is one of two programs under Jingoli Competitive Edge, which was created to identify, train and find meaningful employment for high school students and adults who live within the cities and towns where Jingoli performs construction and construction management work. These programs have provided opportunities for individuals in Newark, Atlantic City, Camden and, now, New Brunswick.
Jingoli CEO Joe Jingoli, the creator of the program, said he has seen the impact the program can have.
“We’ve been fortunate to partner with Chris 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,” Jingoli said.
“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.”
Upon graduation from the program, participants will be placed in jobs with Jingoli and qualified subcontractors associated with the construction of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, which will be operated by RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Paladino, the Devco president, said the results speak for themselves.
“The level of training this group of individuals received in 12 weeks was outstanding,” he said. “Devco is proud to be a part of this program, which has proved to be life-altering for past participants.
“I wish them every success as they begin their new career path.”