The JCC’s Bulletin dates back to the 1930s, when it was a premier source of news for the local Jewish community. We are proud to continue this tradition of keeping our JCC community informed via our virtual Bulletin.
The bulletin circa 1974
On Sunday, May 7, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted its second THRIVE Expo: Women Empowered event.
The free women’s professional development expo aims to empower women along their career trajectories, while also providing a forum to connect local businesses with prospective employees and clients.
Attendees chose one of two dynamic information sessions:
“Starting and Growing Your Business” featured keynote speaker Darlene Blanco, Head of Workforce & Talent Development at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. A panel discussion featured Tatiana Arguello (Nonprofit Staten Island), Bridget Lorenzo (Bee Forever Events), Jaclyn Tacoronte (JMT Media), and Lauren Giordanella (NYC Business Solutions).
“Starting and Advancing in Your Career” featured keynote speaker Kristine Garlisi, Chief Operating Officer at The Nicotra Group, and panelists Aarti Ivanic (Wagner College, Nicolais School of Business), Pam Kulnis (Bottomless Closet), Amelia Winter (JCC of Staten Island), and Patricia Walton (Metro Plus Health).
Following the breakout sessions, participants attended a networking expo where they had the opportunity to meet prospective employers and learn about services designed to uplift women in the workforce.
During the expo, attendees were also able to take free professional headshots and enter to win a laptop. Swag bags and refreshments were provided.
Recognizing the importance of supporting working mothers, the JCC was pleased to offer free childcare during the expo.
Orit Lender, the JCC’s first female CEO, said, “Our THRIVE Expo is an amazing opportunity for female professionals, whether they’re just starting out in their careers or looking to make a change. We’re excited for a day of mentorship and building meaningful connections between women in our community.”
Last fall, the JCC hosted its first THRIVE Expo, which was hailed by one attendee as “the most productive day I've had in the many months of my employment search.” Another attendee remarked, “What I learned gave me the encouragement to move forward and be confident in myself!"
The Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Staten Island is proud to announce the launch of a pilot cybersecurity program made possible by AT&T support. For the first time, Staten Island residents will have access to free virtual cybersecurity training and certification from the highly reputed Per Scholas curriculum and job training program. The program is targeted to underrepresented residents and individuals who would not otherwise have access to the digital literacy training required for the growing sector of cybersecurity jobs. Participants will receive an industry recognized certification, hands on experience, workplace exposure, workforce coaching and connections to employment opportunities.
AT&T’s support for this program is part of the company’s $2 billion nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide, while advancing digital equity and universal connectivity for all New York City. Collaborating on this program builds on AT&T’s continued support of narrowing digital divide in New York City, working in all five boroughs to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the digital tools and skills needed for today’s world.
The unique program, which launched on November 28th, is being hosted virtually by the JCC while Per Scholas is providing accepted participants with the technology. The cohort runs for 15 weeks fulltime, Monday-Friday 9 am- 4pm, and learners will work to obtain the CompTIA CySA+ certification, while learning Linux, network administration, behavioral analytics, security monitoring, threat management, cyber incident response and more. Participants will also receive comprehensive professional development, engage with industry professionals and support to obtain employment in entry level cyber security roles. After completion, the participants will be equipped with the experience to fulfill a wide variety of entry level positions such as cybersecurity analyst, junior desktop technician and tech support engineer.
AT&T’s contribution will support this first cohort and lay a foundation for Per Scholas and the JCC to partner to deliver in-person and a scaled cybersecurity training program on Staten Island in 2023. The contribution also covers tuition, materials and digital hardware for all participants.
Orit Lender, JCC CEO, said, “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Per Scholas and AT&T to bring this new training to Staten Island. Our approach to career training is a holistic one that links our career instruction with our social services offerings. Not only does every person who comes through the doors of this program access the training they need to take their career to the next level, but we also help them overcome any barriers they may have to finding success in their careers. Whether that’s learning soft skills or finding health insurance, our one-stop shop method helps meet a wide variety of needs. We are so excited to add this cybersecurity training to our JCC Career Connections offerings. Thank you to AT&T for making this programming possible for Staten Islanders.”
"The cybersecurity sector is growing and provides many opportunities for successful careers. This new program will help connect Staten Islanders to those jobs and provide a foundation for job training to help unemployed/underemployed individuals for years to come. We are honored to work with the JCC of Staten Island and Per Scholas to help change the career trajectory for Staten Island residents,” said Robin White, Director, AT&T External Affairs. “AT&T is also proud to help local residents impacted by the digital divide obtain the digital literacy skills needed to excel in the cybersecurity sector.”
Digital fluency programs like this one for underrepresented community members are important because the global cybersecurity is rapidly growing industry where available jobs far outnumber qualified candidates. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of cybersecurity jobs is expected to increase by 35 percent by 2031, which underscores the dire need for more cybersecurity trained Americans.
This new cybersecurity training program expands on the JCC’s capacity to assist unemployed/underemployed individuals acquire the tools and skills to secure viable, well-paid employment and has been designed to provide a continuum of concrete critical support to assist participants overcome obstacles to employment. The cybersecurity field involves protecting computer networks and data from unauthorized access, use, or destruction. There are many different types of cybersecurity professionals with various skill levels. AT&T’s contribution comes at a critical time to address unemployment rates on Staten Island and the need for cybersecurity job opportunities are at an all-time high.
Last week, we were excited to join with several community leaders to announce a partnership that will offer workforce development opportunities in the Staten Island community. Through this partnership, we will join with the Clean Energy Academy to offer a free 70-hour energy efficiency technical training, combined with professional development career advancement support services. The program, which will be delivered virtually, focuses on energy efficiency, outreach, education, and implementation assistance initiatives for small commercial properties.
This training will be beneficial for people looking to begin their career in this field and will help make our community greener and more energy efficient. The JCC has always been ahead of the curve with our commitment to green energy, from putting solar panels on the roof of the Bernikow Building to making energy efficient upgrades to our buildings with ConEd. We are proud to lead the way on Staten Island when it comes to energy efficiency, so this partnership is a natural fit for our agency. We are proud to make an impact on both our borough’s workforce and our environment through this program.
This initiative is just one piece of JCC Career Connections, which we launched last fall. Career Connections offers comprehensive assessments and wraparound social services that guide individuals looking for career help to the appropriate trainings, workshops, job fairs, mentorships, and internships. We are now consolidating all of our social service programs under the umbrella of JCC Connections, helping anyone in need access crucial services.
We know that people looking for help often need more than one service and don’t know how to access it easily. Our one-stop-shop method helps link people to community resources, benefits, legal and financial counseling, our Kosher Food Pantry, and so much more.
Not only does every person who comes through the doors of this program access the training they need to take their career to the next level, we also help them overcome any barriers they may have to finding success in their careers. Whether that’s learning soft skills or finding health insurance, our holistic approach helps meet a wide variety of needs.
We are grateful to our community partners for this project, the Clean Energy Academy, NYSERDA, ConEdison’s Small-Medium Business Program, Energy EDC, Soulful Synergy, GreenTech LEADers, and Life3. I would also like to thank Assembly Member Cusick, Borough President Fossella, and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce for the support they have given the project.
I want to send a special thank you our staff members who have worked tirelessly on this initiative. Without their crucial work, we would not have been able to get this program off the ground.
We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to Staten Islanders and hope it is the beginning of a larger shift to embracing green energy on Staten Island. For those interested, the program is open to everyone aged 18+ with a high school diploma or equivalency, regardless of background. All applicants will undergo interviews, evaluations, and a screening/selection process. For more information, contact Kathi Indelicato at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.475.5236.
-Orit Lender, CEO
On Thursday, February 3rd, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island joined The Clean Energy Academy and other community partners to announce a partnership that will offer workforce development opportunities in the Staten Island community.
The JCC and The Clean Energy Academy will offer a free 70-hour energy efficiency technical training, combined with professional development career advancement support services. The program, which will be delivered virtually, focuses on energy efficiency, outreach, education, and implementation assistance initiatives for small commercial properties.
Additional partners in the program include New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), ConEdison’s Small-Medium Business Program, Energy EDC, Soulful Synergy, GreenTech LEADers, and Life3.
The program is part of JCC Career Connections, which offers comprehensive assessments that guide individuals looking for career help to the appropriate trainings, workshops, job fairs, mentorships, and internships.
JCC CEO Orit Lender said, “We are so excited to add this training to our Career Connections programming. This is beneficial for people looking to begin their career in this field and will help make our community greener and more energy efficient. Thank you to our community partners for their crucial work in helping us get this program off the ground. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to Staten Islanders looking for career training in this sector.”
Assembly Member Michael Cusick, the chair of the NYS Assembly Energy Committee, noted, “The Clean Energy Academy’s work in energy efficiency training is a valuable tool in our continued effort to clean up our energy grid in the state of New York, and to have it on Staten Island at the JCC is a great thing. This is a tremendous workforce development opportunity for our local community, and it will have a strong impact on how our local businesses contribute to our shared goal of reducing emissions in the state of New York.”
Director of Workforce Development and Training at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Adele Ferranti said: “NYSERDA is excited to partner with Energy EDC, the Staten Island Jewish Community Center, and the members of the Willdan Clean Energy Academy to expand the Academy’s Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Analyst Electrical and Thermal Systems training to Staten Island. The project builds on curriculum that was successfully piloted and leverages a winning workforce development model that will provide residents with hands-on technical training, industry-recognized certifications, and generous supportive services – all with a direct pathway to well-paying clean energy jobs, which is vital as New York transitions to a clean energy economy.”
“The transition to a clean energy future is producing good jobs for people who have the skills, knowledge and commitment,” said Shaun Hoyte, who oversees Con Edison’s energy efficiency programs for small- and medium-sized businesses. “This comprehensive training program that JCC of Staten Island, Soulful Synergy and other partners are offering can be a first step for those looking to get started in a career helping energy customers make upgrades that will save them money and reduce emissions.”
This program is open to everyone aged 18+ with a high school diploma or equivalency, regardless of background. All applicants will undergo interviews, evaluations, and a screening/selection process. For more information, contact Kathi Indelicato at email@example.com or 718.475.5236.
Last Thursday, I got to go to Brooklyn to the Per Scholas headquarters for a very special announcement. We joined with leaders from government, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and our community partners to celebrate an expanded effort to train more New Yorkers for thriving careers in technology. We are teaming up Per Scholas, a national educational non-profit, as a Satellite partner to offer free IT training courses for Staten Islanders. The classes, which begin November 1st, will be live streamed by Per Scholas from their Bronx and Brooklyn Campuses to our Bernikow Building.
Throughout the different stages of the pandemic, we have had to shift gears constantly to help those in our community who were struggling. The latest need we see is a nationwide one—the issue of employment. At the JCC, we feel strongly that in order to allow Staten Islanders to have an equitable recovery from the pandemic, we need to help them get back to work. That’s why we are so incredibly excited about this partnership with Per Scholas. We could not be prouder to be the Community-Based Organization from Staten Island chosen to work on this project, and we feel honored to be here along with so many other community leaders.
During the pandemic, growth in the technology sector has been exponential. Unfortunately, Staten Island has mostly been left out of that growth. Our partnership with Per Scholas aims to change that and help get Staten Islanders the proper training and connections they need to get jobs in the tech sector.
For local residents, providing training and linking them with employers in tech will allow them to have a better chance at accessing good paying jobs with upward mobility. This will be a benefit not only to the newly employed, but also to the general economy in our borough. Working with Per Scholas, we will help bridge the gap for those looking for tech jobs and create a stronger future for Staten Island.
This partnership is just the first piece of our new programming, called JCC Career Connections. This new program, which has been in the works for many years, will provide career training along with wraparound social services to help all Staten Islanders access employment opportunities. By linking Career Connections to our already robust social services offerings, we will be able to accommodate Staten Islanders with a wide variety of needs and help them get good paying jobs. We know this is just the first step in creating programming that will majorly benefit Staten Island.
Providing social services has always been our strength at the JCC, so this partnership with Per Scholas gives us the opportunity to expand services and successfully launch this much-needed program. I want to thank Borough President James Oddo, the Chamber of Commerce, the Staten Island Foundation, UJA-Federation of NY, Amazon, and all of our community partners for their crucial work on this initiative. Without their support, this partnership would not have been possible.
We look forward to launching our first class, along with a press event celebrating this new program, next week. For more information on all of our Career Connections programming, click here.
I’m personally so excited to see where this partnership takes us, and we look forward to all we can do together!
-Orit Lender, CEO
On Thursday, October 21st, leaders from government,corporate America, and New York-based nonprofits came together to celebrate an expanded effort to train more New Yorkers for thriving careers in technology. Through an innovative Satellite Model leveraging on-site streaming technology, potential new learners will be able to participate in a variety of free training courses in their home boroughs of Staten Island and Queens, led by nationally-recognized Per Scholas from their Bronx and Brooklyn Campuses.
Per Scholas is teaming up with the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island as a the Staten Island Satellite partner to host the course at its Bernikow Building. Per Scholas will provide an Instructional Assistant to be present in the satellite classroom in order to support learners in real-time. Classes at the JCC will begin on November 1st.
Per Scholas anticipates training more than 1,000 New Yorkers in 2022 by leveraging this approach, effectively removing geography and transportation as barriers to individuals interested in pursuing technology training and transitioning into tech careers.
JCC CEO Orit Lender said, “We are so thrilled to be partnering with Per Scholas on this initiative, which will launch our Career Connections programming. Working with Per Scholas, we will help bridge the gap for those in our borough looking for tech jobs and create a stronger future for Staten Island. By linking career training to our already robust social services, we will be able to accommodate Staten Islanders with a wide variety of needs and help them get good-paying jobs in the tech sector. I would like to thank Borough President Oddo, the Chamber of Commerce, The Staten Island Foundation, and all of our community partners for their crucial work in creating this partnership.”
“The explosive growth of the innovation sector in Brooklyn is one of the overlooked stories of the past decade – and it was thanks in part to strategic investments and public-private partnerships that prepared a pipeline of talent for emerging industries. Now, as we rebuild from a devastating pandemic, we must double down on these investments and ensure the benefits of our tech boom are distributed equitably. The new Per Scholas Satellite Learning Model will broaden opportunity to underserved communities throughout the five boroughs, at a time when we need it most. I look forward to building on this innovative new initiative to ensure that we are diversifying the talent in our tech sector and preparing New Yorkers for the jobs of the 21st century,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“As a company, we’ve made upskilling and workforce development a priority here, in New York City, and nationally, so partnering with Per Scholas is a natural fit for Amazon,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s New York City Head of External Affairs. “By expanding educational and job training opportunities in Staten Island, this initiative will help more of our neighbors pursue promising careers, while simultaneously building a talent pipeline and attracting greater economic investment to the borough. We thank the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Borough President James Oddo for all their work to make this expansion possible.”
“Barclays is incredibly proud to support Per Scholas’s efforts to train and prepare more New Yorkers for careers in technology,” said Richard Haworth, Americas CEO, Barclays. “Since 2012, we have partnered with Per Scholas in its mission to create pathways to upwardly mobile careers through financial support, job placement opportunities, and colleague volunteering. We are thrilled to further the impact of Per Scholas’s programming through this expansion.”
According to a recent report from the Center for an Urban Future, nearly one-in-five of all new job postings in New York City during the pandemic were in technology occupations. Demand for tech jobs across the city was more than triple that of marketing and almost five times higher than demand for hospitality or education. As reported last month, New York City has the second-highest average tech salaries in the nation and experienced a double-digit increase, despite the economic impact of COVID-19.
Over the course of the pandemic, Per Scholas has trained approximately 850 New Yorkers in a virtual setting in a variety of technology tracks including IT Support, Cybersecurity, Software Engineering, AWS re/Start, and more. On average, Per Scholas New York graduates earn four times their pre-training wage in their first job after Per Scholas.
“By launching our Satellite Model here in New York, Per Scholas continues to expand our impact to train even more New Yorkers for thriving careers in tech. This is how we’re helping to grow back stronger and fuel an equitable recovery here in New York City’s tech sector,” said Plinio Ayala, Per Scholas President and CEO. “With its launch, we unlock more potential for the future of Per Scholas locally and will connect more individuals previously underrepresented in tech to careers in a thriving industry. As we learn more based on data and outcomes, we’ll evaluate and adjust this new delivery model, continuing to remove barriers to our nation’s future technologists.”
Initial support for Per Scholas’s Satellite Model has been generously provided by Amazon and The Tiger Foundation as well as The Altman Foundation, The Aronson Family Foundation, The Clark Foundation, PDT Partners, and The Staten Island Foundation.
To learn more about JCC’s Career Connections programs or sign up for trainings, visit sijcc.org/careerconnections or contact Kathi Indelicato at 718.475.5236.
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