Next Step Workforce Development is a Work First New Jersey program designed to offer individuals a comprehensive educational program encompassing career counseling, job training, 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 houses two subdivisions within the Next Step Workforce Development program:
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (1990)
The Workforce Development Program provides classes in Adult Basic Education/Special Learning Needs (SOAR), Adult Basic Education/Low Literacy, High School Diploma Preparation and Testing, Vocational Culinary, as well as computer literacy and employable soft skills training. The program also administers the WIOA Youth Program and the Breaking the Cycle Initiative.
The WIOA-Youth Program (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) provides a high need population of young adults 16 to 24 years of age with High School Diploma 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 court involved and formerly incarcerated individuals with transitional job training opportunities. Areas of focus include: Energy Efficient Building Maintenance and Culinary Arts.
Overall, the Next Step program is client-centered with curricula 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 2017, the Next Step Workforce Development Program provided adult education and job training services to 164 Work First NJ and Breaking the Cycle 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.
The Next Step Workforce Development Program is located at:
Center City Mall, 301 Main Street, Paterson, NJ 07505 (Upper Level), 973-232-1339.