ContContact: Kelly Vence

       OffiOffice of Public Information

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ELIZABETH, NJ—April 17, 2012 —Across our state, throughout our nation, individuals have lost their jobs and continue to endure month after month on unemployment, searching, waiting for a chance. The City of Elizabeth, however, is working hard to ensure that the residents of the community are being put back to work. Their unemployment rate is among the lowest of New Jersey’s largest cities and they are looking to reduce that even more. 

Approximately 200 City residents have been hired through the City’s new program entitled ElizabethHIRES, which is Helping to Invest in Residents through Employment and Support. These workers have been assigned to perform public works jobs that will beautify Elizabeth, increase skills through on-the-job training and assist families with needed income for the future.

“We are constantly working together with our partners to provide our community with the resources they need and opportunities they deserve,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “I believe in our City and the hard working people of our community, for without them, we could not have come so far or be ready to embrace our exciting future.”

Enhancing the abilities of residents makes them more marketable and successful.  Located within Jersey Gardens and managed by Union County College, the Retail Skills Center continues to provide Elizabeth residents with valuable instruction and job placement assistance.  These services are provided at no cost to the participant.

In 2011, the Center placed 425 individuals in jobs with more than 100 different companies; trained 220 residents in customer service and sales as well as managed 14 job fairs. In 2012, there have been 6 job fairs and 85 jobs created; and in the upcoming weeks the new Lego Store will open, providing 30 new job opportunities for residents.

“Providing access to programs that support the growth and development of our residents contributes to the future success of our City.” said Manny Grova Jr., First Ward Councilman. “Creating jobs also creates opportunities for networking, which enables participants to learn about new fields and broaden their horizons.”

In March, Mayor Bollwage joined Elberon Development Company LLC and Prologis, Inc., to cut the ribbon on a new 152,230 square foot home to FedEx. This facility will create 300 hundred new jobs, in addition to the two thousand people already employed at the existing hub located across the street from the new site.

The building, which is scheduled for completion in May 2012, also supports the City of Elizabeth’s Go Green initiatives. The site will include energy efficient elements within the construction such as precast panels as well as the incorporation of a thermoplastic polyolefin membrane roof, which reduces solar heat.

Just down the road, the Wakefern Food Corporation is expanding their facilities to a new 524,000 square foot facility, creating hundreds of new jobs for Elizabeth, on top of the hundreds of jobs that already exist.

“The City of Elizabeth is excited about the opportunities these facilities will bring to our neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste. “We have a strong and diverse business community and the addition of these extra warehouse spaces fit well with our City’s vision to be a vibrant and sustainable community where people can thrive in opportunity.”

Summer is approaching, which means Elizabeth’s annual summer job program is back. Last summer, the City hired almost 250 employees and will do so again this year.

Elizabeth’s investments in public safety continue, even as many other large municipalities throughout New Jersey had to lay off police officers and firefighters due to their inability to contain costs. In the City of Elizabeth, there was not a single public safety worker laid off in 2011; in fact, the City hired an additional four police officers last year and welcomed 18 new police recruits to the force in January 2012. In addition, this summer, 22 new firefighters will also be introduced into the ranks.

“The Elizabeth Police & Fire Departments respond to an array of calls, incidents and emergency issues all the time,” said Councilman-At-Large Frank Cuesta. “Additional recruits will strengthen law enforcement operations and increase overall assistance to residents.”

The City of Elizabeth is the fourth largest municipality in the State of New Jersey with a population of 124,969.