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Posted on: October 3, 2023

City of New Rochelle Celebrates Grand Opening of New Rochelle Forward Vocational Training Space

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The City of New Rochelle celebrated the grand opening of New Rochelle Forward, a local and minority-focused vocational training program and facility located at 173 Huguenot Street in downtown New Rochelle. Created in partnership with Soulful Synergy, this innovative program is designed to help minority workers effectively compete for the opportunities created by the unprecedented development boom in the City. 

New Rochelle Forward aims to create opportunities for local residents, especially minorities, to access certification courses, hands-on training, career readiness, case management, and job placement services. With a diverse range of courses and certifications tailored to the needs of the industry, the program’s offerings include Flagger, Supported Scaffold, Urban Handyperson, OSHA 30 Construction Safety, Site Safety Training (SST) courses, and more. Participants can also benefit from career readiness services, customized one-on-one and group sessions for employment preparation, and priority enrollment in the Clean Energy Academy for advanced education.

New Rochelle Forward was established by the City of New Rochelle with input from Advisory Committees. Trainings and certifications are provided by Soulful Synergy, a workforce development agency dedicated to creating equitable and sustainable communities.  Programs are four weeks long, with extended training options for those enrolling in the Clean Energy Academy. To be eligible for enrollment, participants must be New Rochelle residents aged 18 or older, with a genuine interest in the construction and clean energy/sustainability industries. Priority recruitment will be offered to individuals who already hold OSHA 30 and SST certifications.

"New Rochelle Forward demonstrates our City's commitment to local workforce development and teaching valuable skills that can be used immediately and throughout the course of a lifetime,” said New Rochelle City Manager Kathleen Gill. “We are proud to share this significant milestone with community members, partners, and supporters.”

“As New Rochelle grows into the future, it’s critical that we provide the tools to our residents so they can grow with it,” said New Rochelle Deputy City Manager and Development Commissioner Adam Salgado. “New Rochelle Forward delivers these tools as we build a foundation of sustainable growth for our residents and City alike.” 

"New Rochelle Forward is the true representation of what Soulful Synergy stands for:  a collaboration between our organization, the City of New Rochelle, Westhab, and the First Source Referral Center all coming together to benefit the most deserving members of our community,” said Soulful Synergy Co-Founder Alejandro Alvarez, a New Rochelle Native. “We're extremely grateful to have an amazing team and dedicated group of students involved, and we know this new state of the art training center will provide life changing results for so many in our community."

"We're proud to be joining the City of New Rochelle in helping deliver this opportunity to help members of the community build careers in the construction industry,” said Peter Palazzo from LRC, which renovated the space on Huguenot Street. “With New Rochelle Forward, we're setting in motion a promising future for our neighbors."

"I am delighted that the city of New Rochelle has responded to a dire need for job training in our community,” said Elder Mark McLean, President of NAACP New Rochelle Branch and Vice-Chair of the African-American Advisory Committee. “The creation of this construction job training program is a game changer and will give job seekers a real chance to benefit from the historic development boom that our city is now enjoying. The Rev Jesse Jackson once said 'opportunity without preparation is no opportunity at all' and I want to thank the city leaders for creating a program to provide that preparation with the New Rochelle Forward job training program."

"Soulful Synergy has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop into a better version of myself,” said New Rochelle Forward graduate Jenise ‘Jay’ Perez-White. “They've helped me believe I can achieve by showing me how and reminding me I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I love the person I have become through this program as I cried, lost, and tried again, and finally won the fight to become 'her’."

For more information on New Rochelle Forward, including upcoming cohorts, visit the website ideallynewrochelle.com/forward.


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