First Major Step in Restructuring Jersey City Employment and Training Program Agency
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven Fulop has appointed four members to the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP) board of directors, a non-profit agency that helps Jersey City youth, the laid off, and out of work populations prepare to enter the workforce. The new members include Pamela Gardner, Kristen Hart, Tonya Keyes and Michelle West. They will serve as board members through 2022.
“Investing in our families is top priority, and it is an investment in our community as a whole,” said Mayor Fulop. “There is no question JCEPT has had major issues and the residents of Jersey City deserve better. We are going to be aggressive in repairing the damage that was done and making this the best employment and training office for all residents that need help .”
Pamela Gardner is an active member of her community and serves as a Life Member of the NAACP. Ms. Gardner has previously served the Hudson County Register of Deeds and Mortgages. She has spent decades focusing on children with special needs in Jersey City’s schools. She has also served on several local boards and committees in various capacities including: Advisor to the Youth Council, Chairperson of the Political Action and Membership Committees, Political Action Committee Chairperson, and President of College Women, Inc. She has also served multiple roles as a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church.
Kristen Hart currently works for the Jersey City Public School system as the Supervisor of Athletics for McNair Academic High School. She has played an active role in the community helping to advance youth development. She also serves on boards for the Jersey City Education Association, Jersey City Liberty All Stars and more.
Tonya Keyes, an active community member, is real estate broker owner with Keyes & Wiggins Red Realty where she has earned nationally recognized designations. Ms. Keyes volunteers with multiple charitable and civic organizations. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Trustee Golden Door Charter School, in Jersey City and Chairs Advisory Board of Salvation Army’s Foster Grandparent Program for Hudson & Essex Counties.
Michelle West is a youth counselor and ministry advisor with a Master’s degree in Urban Education. Ms. West has spent her growing career with Jersey City’s youth as a teacher and mentor, specifically for “at risk” youth. She is currently serving as Principal of Public School 15 where she works to further her goal of closing education gaps and helping students graduate. She was previously honored at the Blacks in Law Enforcement Serving the Community (BLESC) Gala for the hard work and commitment she has shown for the City of Jersey City and its residents.
With their impressive backgrounds, these four new members will bring their various expertise to advance the mission of JCETP – connecting residents with jobs.
JCETP works with the community through personal outreach services, workshops, and a variety of career and professional development services. These efforts help support youth in and out of school, former prisoners, as well as dislocated workers by connecting them with a variety of specialized programs including “on-the-job training” and in-house programs to build confidence, competence and knowledge for those looking for a job.
“JCETP is a vital community outreach program in Jersey City having helped more than 25,000 Jersey City youth alone in the last two decades,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of Health and Human Services and JCETP Acting Chairperson. “These new board members come with a breadth of experience and I am confident they will provide the diversity, entrepreneurship and community and spiritual guidance needed, helping to ensure our youth, and anyone at a disadvantage, has the tools they need for a bright and successful future.”
The Board of Directors of Jersey City Employment & Training Program are responsible for management and oversight of the business and affairs of the organization in accordance with the JCETP by-laws. The Black Caucus of Hudson County recommended Ms. Gardener, Ms. Keyes and Ms. West, all of which are elected officials.