Next Step Workforce Development is a Work First New Jersey program designed to offer individuals a comprehensive educational program encompassing career counseling, job training and development, Employer Customized Workplace Literacy, adult basic education, and case management support services.
Next Step Workforce Development works with individuals who are committed to making positive changes to improve their quality of life and enhance their self-sufficiency. To this end, Next Step works with clients to create a customized plan with a focus on employment and career development that will enable them to become self-sustaining and break the cycle of unemployment or underemployment in their lives.
St. Paul's Community Development Corporation currently hosts three subdivisions within the Next Step Workforce Development program:
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (1990)
The Workforce Development Program provides classes in Adult Basic Education/Special Needs (SOAR), GED Preparation and Testing, Vocational Culinary, as well as computer literacy and employable soft skills. The program also administers the WIOA Youth Program and the Breaking the Cycle Initiative.
The WIOA-Youth Program (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act) provides a high need population of young adults 16 to 24 years of age with GED preparation classes and onsite testing. The program also offers access to Next Step's vocational training programs in Energy Efficient Building Maintenance and Culinary Arts.
The Breaking the Cycle Initiative provides a high need population of the court-involved and formerly incarcerated with the opportunity to participate in a transitional job training program focused in the areas of Community Improvement, Energy Efficient Building Maintenance, and the Culinary Arts.
Overall, the Next Step program is client-centered with curriculums based on individual needs. Students are allowed to build toward self-sufficiency with an emphasis on self-esteem, career skills, and investment in one's own community. The educational philosophy of the program is the integration of teaching fundamental skills and critical thinking with cultural awareness and self-reliance.
In 2015, the Next Step Workforce Development Program provided adult education and job training services to 164 Work First NJ clients.
CASE MANAGEMENT/EMPLOYMENT PLACEMENT (1999)
The Case Management/Employment Placement Program is designed to provide counseling support with a focus on employment referrals and employment/life skills training for low-to-moderate income individuals.
These services form a self-sufficiency paradigm for members of the transient population who are committed to making positive changes to improve their overall stability and quality of life.
SANCTIONS OUTREACH INITIATIVE (2000)
The Sanctions Outreach Initiative has been designed to assist clients not in compliance with TANF requirements (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) with compliance so that they can avail of the services for which they are eligible. Outreach efforts include providing information and referrals. Transitional support services include referrals for housing subsidies, childcare, healthcare, transportation, food subsidy, home energy assistance, and assistance in obtaining child support.
In 2015, the Next Step program provided Sanctions Outreach to 2,002 individuals (i.e. phone or home visit).
The Next Step Workforce Development Program is located at:
Center City Mall, 301 Main Street, Paterson, NJ 07505 (Upper Level), 973-232-1339.