Hudson County Community College Hosts NJ Reentry Corporation’s Inaugural Summer Training Institute

This innovative program will provide 175 court-involved young adults, ages 18-25, with comprehensive job training and industry-recognized credentials that will ready them for a variety of in-demand and family-sustaining careers. Participants will have the opportunity to take courses on general construction and forklift operation while earning OSHA 30 certification. Participants can also take culinary courses, Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses at RJW Barnabas, and courses on phlebotomy and becoming a peer recovery specialist (a professional who has successfully completed the recovery process and now helps others going through the same process). Additionally, they can learn Microsoft basics and receive Cisco Certification.   

Summer Training Institute participants will also gain access to NJRC’s full array of wraparound services, such as enrollment in federal and state benefit programs such as Medicaid and SNAP, plus the offerings of the Francine A. Lefrak Wellness Center that provides medical, behavioral, and dental health screenings. Additionally, the Hudson County Department of Housing and Community Reintegration will provide supportive family services to participants.    

Courses will take place this summer over two sessions. Group 1 begins on June 26th and concludes on July 28, while Group 2 runs from July 31st through August 31st. Classes are from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM each day. Interested participants can register online beginning May 22nd at or via Eventbrite, or in-person at the NJRC Training Center located at 195 Campus Drive in Kearny, NJ on May 23, June 1, and June 6. Interested participants can also email [email protected] for more information.  

HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber stated that “Hudson County Community College and NJRC have a close working partnership. We have been honored to work together to provide ‘industry-recognized’ credentials to NJRC program participants across a wide range of skills-based training including phlebotomy, welding, culinary, and computer basics. The NJRC Summer Training Institute will provide young adults with skills and a direction, which will establish future careers.”   

Speakers at the launch included New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) Founder and Chairman, former  

New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber, and NJ Council of County Colleges President Aaron Fitchner. Labor organizations such as the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) and the Eastern Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters also participated. Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Workforce Development Nicholas Toth spoke about investing in the state’s labor force. Local leadership including Jersey City Council President, Joyce Watterman, and Hudson County Department Director of Housing and Community Reintegration Frank Mazza also participated in the event, along with Jenny Davis, the Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.   

Pastor Raul Ruiz of the NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers read the opening prayers spoke about the importance of community engagement, and Tamika McReyolds, First Lady of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Jersey City and Hot 97’s DJ Wallah discussed the importance of summer programs and youth engagement. Reverend Ritney Castine of the Mount Pisgah AME Church in Jersey City concluded the event with closing remarks and a prayer.   

About Hudson County Community College  

Hudson County Community College serves more than 18,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The  

College offers nearly 90 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second  

Language; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Culinary Arts/Hospitality  

Management; Nursing and Health Professions; and Humanities and Social Sciences. The HCCC  

Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools.   

HCCC has partnerships with major four-year colleges and universities in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.  

The College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been recognized with the 2021  

Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Region Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021 and 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of seven community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” and the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. HCCC was a finalist last year for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) “Advancing Diversity Award of Excellence.” For the second consecutive year, HCCC was selected as one of 20 community colleges in the United States to be named among the “2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in collaboration with “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The College was one of 22 community colleges in the nation, and the only college in New Jersey, to be recognized by ModernThink LLC and the “Chronicle of Higher Education” as a 2022 “Great College to Work For®.” HCCC is one of two colleges in the United States to be named a Top Ten Finalist in all three program categories for the nationally recognized 2023 Bellwether Awards, and received the 2023 Bellwether Award for the College’s cutting-edge “Hudson Scholars” program. The College’s exemplary work in advancing student success has been recognized with 2023 “Leader College” designation by Achieving the Dream, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC was also presented with the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention by Vector Solutions for demonstrating leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion.   

About NJ Reentry Corporation    

The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) is a non-profit agency with a social mission to remove all barriers to employment for citizens returning from jail or prison.   

The NJRC is premised on the ambition to create an environment which promotes pro-social norms, encouraging the establishment of attachments to positive rehabilitative cultures, strengthening bonds among peers who promote positive norms and values, and promoting family reunification. Participants receive individualized assessments and treatment plans that first address essential needs, including housing, treatment, mental health care, medical care, and access to health insurance and other public benefits to secure these essential needs.  

The daily expense of supervising a probationer is twenty times less than the average expense of incarcerating an individual in prison or jail. The costs of imprisonment is increasing while the benefits are decreasing substantially. Our capacity to secure public safety for our communities depends upon our ability to improve management to the thousands of individuals in New Jersey who are under probation and/or parole supervision. Proper recognition must be given to persons without resources as post-release success frequently depends on the quality and services amongst support provided within a community.  

Furthermore, gainful employment is the most critical aspect of post-prison reentry. Job training, employment counseling, as well as employment placement programs are essential tools for effective reintegration and workforce development.  

The NJRC was developed subsequent to the successful implementation of a pilot reentry model in Hudson  

County/Jersey City in 2014 with the support of Governor Christie’s administration. The Hudson  

County/Jersey City reentry model was initiated through a series of strategic partnerships between the Hudson County Department of Corrections (HCDOC), the New Jersey Department of Family Services (DFS), and local non-profit providers. Also included are the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP) and Integrity House, a substance abuse treatment provider, both agencies with decades of experience of experience serving court-involved individuals.  

The HCDOC recognized that addressing the need for addiction treatment and successful return to society would result in improved public safety and established a Community Reintegration Program funded in part by a federal Second Chance Act grant. The program has been recognized by the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice “as being at the forefront of the reentry field.” The project is one of only seven in the country to be included in a gold standard evaluation by the National Institute of Justice.