Announcement, Press Release

GreenLight Fund Greater Newark Announces Investment in Workforce Development for Local Youth

Sep 28, 2023

Greater Newark

$600,000 investment brings proven EMS Corps program to area to break down barriers, save lives and create sustainable career pathways

Newark, NJ – September 28, 2023 – Nonprofit funder GreenLight Fund Greater Newark today announced its first investment selection, bringing the EMS Corps program to Greater Newark. EMS Corps is a proven workforce development initiative that provides participants with a five-month paid stipend, emergency medical technician (EMT) job training, youth development, mentoring and job placement, ultimately improving health outcomes and supporting sustainable career pathways. In Newark, 40 young people will go through the program annually.

GreenLight Greater Newark’s investment in the EMS Corps program was informed by a year-long selection process conducted in partnership with the local Selection Advisory Council (SAC), a diverse group of 36 talented residents, leaders and experts from various fields. Through the process, GreenLight Greater Newark identified workforce development for young people as a critical need in the community and, after searching the country, EMS Corps was selected based on their proven track record addressing this need.

“During our Community Conversations tour last summer, we listened to the concerns of community members, nonprofit leaders, and key stakeholders and learned about the urgent need to create more workforce development opportunities for our young people,” said GreenLight Greater Newark Executive Director Tish Johnson-Jones. “In response to this need, we selected EMS Corps as we believe their evidence-based training, mentoring and job placement program will help open doors for our young people and empower the next generation to make a difference in a career field that has been historically unattainable for them.”

With similar results expected in Newark, in California and New Mexico, 400 young people have graduated from EMS Corps at a rate of 90% with an EMT licensing rate of over 80%, well beyond the national average. EMS Corps ensures positive outcomes by providing case management and employment support to help young adults pursue meaningful careers. Alumni have gone on to become doctors, nurses, teachers, mentors, firefighters, emergency personnel, law enforcement officials and more.

“We are excited to be partnering with GreenLight Greater Newark to provide quality training, mentoring and wrap-around services to young people in greater Newark,” said Michael Gibson, Founder of EMS Corps and a Director at Public Works Alliance, the nonprofit organization that is expanding the model nationally. “EMS Corps provides a platform for hundreds of young people who have been underestimated and undervalued to build successful careers in healthcare, fire and public safety and, in the process, strengthen the systems that serve their communities.”

Kofi Taha, Public Works Alliance’s implementation lead in Newark added, “The most powerful part of this work for me has been the opportunity to witness the self-transformation of program participants over a 5-month period – seeing self-doubt turn into self-confidence, personal challenges turn into the strength to serve others, individuals pursuing a goal turn into a team supporting each other for a bigger purpose. It’s really remarkable and we are so excited to collaborate with GreenLight Greater Newark and so many others in the community to make this program available to young people in Newark.”

On Monday, November 6 at 6:30pm at the Newark Museum of Art, GreenLight Greater Newark will be screening a documentary that details the systemic barriers which historically underserved communities face and EMS Corps addresses with job opportunities and critical emergency healthcare services. The documentary highlights how the 911 operating system has neglected communities of color and the importance and origins of EMT services.

“When you are seeking emergency medical care, you are in your most vulnerable state. It can be helpful in a stressful situation to receive assistance from someone who is from your community who, in addition to being highly competent, brings a sense of familiarity and cultural understanding,” said Jason Brady, Executive Director of Emergency Medical Services at University Hospital. “I am proud to be a part of the Newark EMS Corps’ Advisory Board and look forward to collaborating on this effort to build precisely this kind of high quality, locally-trained, allied health workforce that Newark needs and deserves.”