June 9, 2023


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Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced that Newark will join the Good Jobs, Great City Academy, a new peer-learning cohort led by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to fast-track city efforts to design, develop, and launch a workforce initiative building pathways into good jobs. The academy works with municipalities to spur innovative and scalable city-supported solutions that upskill and reskill workers into quality, high-demand jobs in infrastructure, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing. Newark is one of only 16 cities nationwide awarded this historic opportunity, made possible by investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy focuses on supporting residents from historically underserved and underrepresented communities in order to address key shortcomings in their education and workforce ecosystem. Academy cities work closely with their employers, workforce development boards, and other cross-sector partners to take bold and innovative actions to build strong on-ramps into in-demand infrastructure occupations for workers facing barriers to career success.

“From the beginning, my administration has focused on our residents’ work life through the economic justice lens of growth opportunity, meaning, purpose, and competitive compensation.  Beyond nurturing a solid future for individuals, this initiative ensures the future strength of our city. Residents are planting their skills and acquired training right into the industries that guarantee a sustainable future built on sound infrastructure, forward-leaning technology, and environmental health,” said Mayor Baraka. “The Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy checks all the boxes, instilling a sense of fulfillment and pride among our workers who know they are building a strong community not just for each other, but for each other’s children.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for employees in the City of Newark to attain sustainable careers and for employers to hire workers with the specialized skills they need in emerging and in-demand industries,” said state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We applaud the Biden Administration and US Department of Labor for supporting this whole of government approach. It’s no surprise New Jersey’s largest city has been chosen to lead the way on this exciting future-of-work initiative.”

“From the beginning of Mayor Baraka’s tenure, he has understood workforce as a major tool to help turn around this great city, with new initiatives like the Workforce on Wheels (WOW) Bus expansion of the Summer Youth Employment Program, College Partnerships, skill trades training, and Second Chance opportunities,” said Deputy Mayor of Employment Rahaman Muhammad. “Mayor Baraka has been at the forefront of Newark residents having many diverse opportunities to succeed. With this new initiative from the Biden Administration, we look forward to expanding those opportunities.”

Cities participating in the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy will benefit from the unique opportunity to engage with NLC, USDOL, other federal agencies, national thought leaders and their peer cities to:

  • Identify and convene employers and other stakeholders within a targeted subsector relating to infrastructure, clean energy, or advanced manufacturing;
  • Identify and address gaps and/or shortcomings in their education and workforce ecosystem, allowing them to develop new, or scale existing successful initiatives;
  • Implement strategies that ensure infrastructure, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing career opportunities are high-quality and support long term economic vitality in communities;
  • Be better positioned to address the multi-faceted structural issues many groups of workers face (including opportunity youth, women, workers of color, Indigenous workers, workers in rural communities, justice impacted individuals, veterans, parenting workers, etc.) in accessing good jobs, and connect such workers to equitable and meaningful postsecondary and workforce opportunities;
  • Learn how to effectively leverage and allocate funds and other resources to support their goals for addressing their workforce needs;
  • Strengthen policy and practice by intentionally building connections to supportive services for workers, and connecting to the care economy (including childcare, healthcare and mental health as key supports for workers);

The City of Newark is joined in the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy by 15 other cities, which include: Birmingham, Ala.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Duluth, Minn.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frederick, Md.; Jamestown, N.Y.; Kokomo, Ind.; Lansing, Mich.; Missoula, Mont.; Monroe, N.C.; San Antonio, Texas; Santa Fe, N.M.; St. Louis; Tacoma, Wash.; and Tempe, Ariz. The program will run through 2024.

The National League of Cities is an organization comprised of city, town, and village leaders that are focused on improving the quality of life for their current and future constituents.


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at

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