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Cooper Foundation And Camden Mayor Dana Redd Announce Official Launch Of The Camden Construction Career Initiative

Program Will Provide Skills Training and Support Services to Camden Residents, Harnessing Opportunities From City’s Economic Revival

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Cooper Foundation and Camden Mayor Dana Redd today announced the official launch of the Camden Construction Career Initiative, which will train Camden residents for construction jobs and connect construction work-ready city residents with employment opportunities.

The initiative will also identify Camden businesses, vendors and suppliers that can be used for local sourcing on Camden construction projects.

“Camden is experiencing an extraordinary economic revival, with many construction projects underway and more planned for the future,” said Redd. “The Camden Construction Career Initiative will help ensure city residents share in the economic and social opportunities made possible by the city’s revitalization.”

“We are thrilled to be able to bring these opportunities to Camden residents,” said Frank Moran, City Council President. “Programs such as this have the ability to open doors to successful construction careers for qualified residents of our city.”

The Camden Construction Career Initiative will train more than 100 Camden residents by the end of 2017 through the Union Organization for Social Service (UOSS) pre-apprenticeship training program. The comprehensive 10-week program will train residents with skills in construction trades (carpentry, bricklaying and more), while simultaneously teaching residents the necessary soft skills, including life skills education and career development strategies to succeed in the workplace. UOSS has a proven record of success in preparing Camden residents for a career in the building trades.

Students will be required to complete 260 hours of training education in academic studies, OSHA safety training, computer and financial literacy, tool handling and hands-on construction training. Trainees will also be certified in CPR and First Aid, and be able to test for their 10-hour OSHA Outreach Training program card. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have accomplished the first step required to be accepted into a trade union as an apprentice, and placed into a registered apprenticeship.

“As Camden continues to rise, we have a responsibility and obligation to residents to ensure they have access to the jobs that are being created by the city’s construction boom,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care. “The Camden Construction Career Initiative will provide the necessary training and support so that Camden residents are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities available.”

The Union Organization for Social Service graduated its first class of 11 trainees under the Camden Construction Career Initiative earlier this year. A second class will start later this month, with additional training cycles to follow.

Camden residents interested in participating must apply to be a part of the program and complete an interview process. Applicants must be at least 19 years old, hold a valid driver’s license, provide proof of insurance and vehicle registration, and have a clean driving record. Camden residents interested in applying can attend one of the four outreach sessions scheduled across the City to learn more and apply for the program.

Outreach sessions detailed in the press kit and other coordinated outreach activities will be held throughout the city in the coming months to recruit residents and encourage business participation in the initiative.

“We have a willing workforce in the city of Camden, that with the right training can directly participate in the construction projects they see happening out their window,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of the Cooper Foundation, the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care. “We are pleased to work with the city to bring together the many partners who can make a transformative jobs program a reality.”

The Camden Construction Career Initiative is supported by The Cooper Foundation, the City of Camden, the Residents Building Camden Task Force, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, McKissack and McKissack, United Camden and Vicinity Building and Construction Trades Council.

For more information about the Camden Construction Career Initiative or to apply, contact or (856) 757-9154.