Booker helps bolster Bergen Community College workforce initiative with $75K in federal funding

Bergen Community College business accelerator’s LatinxCEO program is the recipient of $75,000 in federal funds as part of $191.6 million that U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has delivered for in-state initiatives in the 2024 government funding bills, according to a recent announcement from the senator’s office. The college will leverage the funding to broaden the scope of LatinxCEO, which offers skill-building workshops, internships and industry-recognized certifications for students.

Current funding caps the college’s ability to provide services at 30 students. The program launched last year.

“One of my highest privileges and priorities in Washington is to fight to bring home federal resources to invest in worthy New Jersey projects,” Booker (D-N.J.) said. “The New Jersey projects funded in this bill include vital investments in our infrastructure and in the leaders who work tirelessly, often away from the limelight, to improve their communities. These projects will create jobs, grow local economies, improve health care and protect families. I’m grateful to the organizations, community leaders and government leaders who, with this funding, will further improve the quality of life for New Jerseyans.”

The college launched the LatinxCEO program as a workforce development initiative that targets underrepresentation in the workplace, where Hispanic men and women account for less than 4% of executives at S&P 100 companies.

LatinxCEO empowers aspiring Hispanic business professionals by providing students with skills, real-world connections and career exploration opportunities. Among the activities, students network with regional executives, meet entrepreneurs and participate in career shadowing, worksite visits and mock interviews. New cohorts begin each semester.

The program combines numerous priorities outlined in the college’s strategic goals, such as enhancing workforce development initiatives and supporting programs that foster belongingness among students.

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III and Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey CEO and President Carlos Medina each supported the college’s funding request to Booker by submitting letters of recommendation.

The Hispanic chamber maintains its headquarters at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands — the site of the business accelerator — and works closely with entrepreneurs at the site. The business accelerator offers affordable office space, access to memberships and business coaching at the facility. The Hispanic-business-focused incubator specifically targets assisting early-stage entrepreneurs in the region.

In total, Booker, working alongside New Jersey’s congressional delegation, secured $191.6 million for 150 projects for Fiscal Year 2024. The latest government funding bill encompasses a range of projects aimed at improving community infrastructure, enhancing public services, and fostering sustainable development.