|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
EDA awarded four grants totaling $2.3 million in the State of New Jersey in FY 2012. These grants provided funding for infrastructure, workforce development, planning, and technical assistance helping New Jersey communities develop or implement bottom-up economic development strategies. These investments are expected to create or retain 217 jobs according to grantee estimates.
Investment Spotlight: EDA Investment Expands Training Opportunities for Workers
Job development and training programs for job seekers have long been absent in Camden, New Jersey. Despite high demand for workers and numerous vacancies in entry level automotive opportunities, the pressures to link low-skilled workers with available jobs remains a challenge. Respond, Inc., a voluntary, not-for-profit agency created by community residents to enhance and promote the economic independence and general welfare of individuals and families residing in Camden City and county, has risen to this challenge.
Taking advantage of opportunities to rededicate this portion of the workforce, Respond, Inc. established an automotive technology program that not only trains residents, but supplies key workers to a vibrant industry cluster in and around the City of Camden. Within two years of opening, the New Worker Job Development Center’s Automotive Technology training program has placed over 88 graduates into automotive positions within and outside the City. Almost 11% of graduates have started their own automotive repair businesses. A testament to the success of this program and the quality of its automotive technicians, General Motors will supply the Center with Cadillac technology to train students on testing and servicing of the Cadillac Escalade.
Due to the Center’s strong performance metrics during its first two years, EDA awarded $640,000 to Respond, Inc. for expansion of the Center’s Automotive Training Facility in 2012. These expanded facilities will accommodate three car lifts, a garage entrance lift, and space for repair and training equipment. In addition to the federal support from EDA, Respond, Inc. has demonstrated that collaborations are key to success with donations coming from a range of private entities such as and Campbell’s Soup, Holman Enterprises, the Toyota Motor Company, and General Motors.