The Jersey City Employment and Training Program “has expanded its client base significantly” in the past six months, according to statistics cited by Acting Executive Director Sudhan Thomas.
â€œJCETP can provide a vital ladder of opportunity for some of our most vulnerable residents who most need assistance building a career and a life,â€ Thomas said in a statement.
â€œWe believe JCETPâ€™s darkest days are behind us and the 35,000 citizens of Jersey City needing underemployment and unemployment services can finally look to JCETP for tangible services towards financial self-reliance.â€
JCETP has expanded its client base significantly in the last six months, with a 20 percent overall increase in unemployment/underemployment clients, as well as a 30 percent increase among re-entry clients, Thomas stated.
The agency for the first time will service over 4,000 clients in a 12-month cycle. This improvement has been primarily driven by the organization entering into several strategic partnerships, opening of four satellite one stop locations and offering extended hours for the first time.
JCETP services are now available from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. The agency is working directly with various court programs, prison programs and probation officers to extend intervention services to more first-time offenders.
“The JCETP turnaround story under the leadership of Sudhan Thomas has been truly remarkable for Jersey City,â€ added Rev. Tinia Bland, President of local community group Black Interest Team Enterprise (BITE).
â€œWe are very encouraged by the dramatic increases in the agency’s performance metrics. Our great city is finally assuaged that JCETP will be a source of hope for comprehensive one-stop employment services for the most vulnerable in our community; particularly on the south side of the city.â€
Thomas’ remarks come in the midst of allegations being made last week that former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who was fired in January after a vote was taken by the JCETP board, misappropriated millions of dollars between 2013 and 2018.
Thomas and a city spokeswoman said that the matter has been referred to law enforcement, while McGreevey denied any wrongdoing, citing the past eight audits conducted by JCETP under his leadership.
After taking control of JCETP, Thomas moved to begin a forensic audit of the organizationâ€™s finances that allegedly showed many irregularities under previous leadership, though McGreevey has dismissed these results since the auditing firm was chosen by “Fulop’s handpicked surrogates.”