Citizens to commit additional $700K to N.J. workforce development nonprofits

Citizens, as part of a continuing effort to build its presence in New Jersey, is announcing Thursday morning that it is making an additional $700,000 commitment to New Jersey workforce development nonprofits.

Citizens Chair and CEO Bruce Van Saun said the bank is hoping to help upskill and reskill New Jersey workers to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the state’s economy.

“Healthy, thriving communities are the cornerstone of our business strategy and our credo,” he said. “Through these partnerships, we are committed to helping communities across New Jersey thrive by addressing local workforce challenges.

“We are pleased to partner with these organizations to foster job skills training and fund social equity partnerships and programs that promote economic advancement in underserved communities.”

The additional funding to workforce initiatives across the state was announced ahead of a gathering Thursday of nonprofit, higher education and business leaders — including executives from Citizens, Oasis, Focus NJ and Local Initiatives Support Corp. — who will meet at the Oasis offices in Paterson to discuss pressing workforce needs facing the state.

The $700,000 commitment will support much-needed technical skills training and career counseling, expanding the bank’s support of neighborhood revitalization and economic development across the state.

Examples include:

  • LISC of Greater Newark: $100,000 from the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation to LISC of Greater Newark to fund an extension of LISC’s Thriving Neighborhoods Initiative. The Neighbors Helping Neighborhoods Program provides microgrants to projects created by resident-leaders and grassroots community groups that improve the quality of life and economic resilience in Newark’s Fairmount Heights and Clinton Hill communities.
  • Oasis: $75,000 from the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation to support Oasis’ new Career Counseling program for low-income, minority women. The program will provide individual and group career coaching, workshops, resume assistance and internships to help women gain skills, identify career paths and find employment. It also offers wrap-around services such as computer training, meals and social work support to help women improve their lives through employment.
  • Focus NJ: $50,000 from Citizens Philanthropic Foundation to Focus NJ, benefiting the launch of its Workforce Development Initiatives and Opportunities Resource Page. The page was designed as an evergreen, public resource to promote collaboration in the Garden State and to advance retraining efforts for New Jersey’s workers. The site hosts programmatic information for more than 200 public and private workforce development programs intended for individuals and employers to identify training providers and opportunities in their community in order to increase access to upskilling and reskilling and to increase collaboration between providers and job creators.

Here is the complete list of awardees:

  • African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
  • Count Basie Center for the Arts
  • Community FoodBank of New Jersey
  • Elijah’s Promise
  • Elizabeth Development Co. of New Jersey
  • Fulfill, Food Bank of Monmouth/Ocean counties
  • Hudson County Community College
  • Hudson County Economic Development Corp.
  • Ironbound Community Corp.
  • Junior Achievement NJ
  • Korean Community Services
  • Newark Performing Arts Corp.
  • New Jersey Association of Corrections
  • New Jersey Community Development
  • NPower
  • Per Scholas
  • Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
  • Urban League of Essex County
  • Year Up