May 20, 2020

Grant to Address Career Development Needs of Pregnant or Parenting Youth 16-24 

[Perth Amboy, May 12, 2020] – The RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA has received funding from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant will support a specialized population of out of school pregnant and/or parenting youth, who have traditionally faced unique challenges and increased barriers to career development and employment. This program will work with each participant to identify individual and systemic barriers to success and provide the support that leads to increased skill-building and employability.

As part of the program, participants will work with a case manager to develop an individual success plan that will address challenges such as lack of financial literacy, limited access to mentorship, the need for increased pre-employment skills instruction, and the absence of internship opportunities. This planning is designed to allow participating youth to meet education equivalency via a GED or High School diploma attainment. Services will include hands-on skill-building through internships, volunteer opportunities, and in some circumstances paid part-time employment. To complete the program, participants must complete 14-weeks of instructor lead skill-building sessions and 6-weeks of hands-on employment practice. By the end of the program, participants will not only have the skills, assets, and résumé to find employment, but also the self-confidence to seek and apply for jobs, participate in interviews, and ultimately find a job that leads them and their families to self-sufficiency.

The Y, with the support of a diverse set of partners, seeks to assist in expanding the offerings of specialized services and supports by identifying, recruiting, and providing a multi-component framework of workplace readiness and career development training to at least 50 pregnant and parenting youth within a 20-month time-frame. Some of our partners are: the Department of Human Services, Department of Children and Family, Perth Amboy One-Stop, Perth Amboy Redevelopment Team for Neighborhood Enterprise and Revitalization (PARTNER), Community Childcare Solutions, City of Perth Amboy, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, Jewish Renaissance Foundation and United Way of Central Jersey.

To participate in the Bridges to Employing Youth Program, participants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age, live in Perth Amboy or Middlesex County, be out of school with no plans to return, or attend college, and currently unemployed. Participants can be male or female as long as they are parenting. Females may be pregnant at the time of acceptance into the program. “This program will truly serve as a “Bridge” to employment and self-sufficiency. The YMCA and its partners will work to eliminate barriers and create a clear pathway to job opportunities that were inaccessible before”, said Steve Jobin, President and CEO of the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA.

For more information or if you or someone you know can benefit from this program please contact Fabiola Morales, or Lauren Capaci,

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.