New jobs training center to open in Newark's South Ward

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on September 30, 2014

Newark politicians today marked the construction of TREC, a job training center in the city's South Ward. A crane knocks down an old community center located at 71 Ludlow Street, where the new center will be built.

 

NEWARK — Armed with silver shovels and white hard hats, Newark politicians today marked the construction of a job training center in the city's South Ward.

The facility, named TREC or the Training, Recreational and Educational Center, will provide job training resources as well as space for exercise and recreational activities. It will be located at 71 Ludlow Street.

"What’s really really important about the TREC is its focus. Its focus is on jobs," said Newark Housing Authority director Keith Kinard.

"When you look around you see a lot of people with B.A.s, JDs, MBAs and PHDs. Not a lot of people with jobs. That’s what we need. "

South Ward councilman John Sharpe James touted the new center as a valuable resource for Dayton neighborhood residents who often feel left out of South Ward development projects.

"For years Dayton Street talked about being left out," James said. "This is the day that changes."

The 28,000 square feet facility will cost $9.8 million dollars to build. The housing authority received a $5 million grant from Housing and Urban Development department. The rest was funded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The Newark Housing Authority will operate programming in the TREC, with help from other organizations. The new center will offer a fitness center, space for career development and job skills training, health and wellness programs, and a full indoor basketball court among other resources.

"Jobs, job development...is right on the top of what we need to be doing," said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. "There are some people who need to be employed."

The center, which is being built by the Hunter Roberts Construction Group, is expected to be finished in 18 months.

"Keep a look out," Kinard said. "18 months from now we will be cutting this ribbon."

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