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  • Writer's pictureHopeloft Team

RCSJ Opens Campus in Bridgeton

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

Top photo by , Bottom photo by Steven Defelice

Thanks to a generous gift from local realtor Bob Thompson, the Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) has officially opened a trauma-informed campus in Bridgeton at the Alms Center. This new branch of RCSJ will provide much-needed opportunities for Cumberland County residents — especially those on the western side of the county — through a diverse lineup of classes and trainings.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Mayor Albert B. Kelley. “I’ve been mayor of our great city for ten years now. And even before that, we talked about how we could have a college in our community to help lift up the city, and move the city to an even greater destiny.”

The ribbon cutting and open house, which took place on Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., was open to the public, and visitors were able to tour the facility and learn about the programming that will be offered there. They also got a chance to speak to RCSJ administration and staff and learn about the college’s future plans for the city. This expansion into Bridgeton will bolster RCSJ’s workforce development services through a variety of programs, including:

• Adult Education – High School Equivalency prep • HiSet testing – for NJ high school diploma • Career Training programs: Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing • New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) courses for businesses: soft skills training, supervisory, management, leadership, and Microsoft Office skills • Cumberland Hospitality Industry program • Displaced Homemaker workshops • Apprenticeship information and recruitment sessions • Networking events

Hopeloft's founder Melissa Helmbrecht has worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for children and families in Bridgeton, and she is overjoyed that she was able to play an integral role in welcoming this much-needed resource into her hometown community.

“As we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, I can think of no better way for our community to continue the work of social justice than to open a branch of Rowan College in the heart of Bridgeton, a city teeming with young people and families who will lead our community into the next decade. A college in a city with a 3.2% college attainment rate epitomizes Dr. King’s call-to-action that ‘I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be,'” said Melissa.

Melissa has labored for over three years to make this trauma-informed Bridgeton campus possible, in collaboration with such key figures as Robert O. Carr, Dr. Fred Keating, Bob Thompson, Jason Redd, Pastor Albert Morgan, and Mayor Albert Kelly. The dedication of these community leaders has led to the birth of an invaluable resource for the citizens of Bridgeton, and our team at Hopeloft is honored to play a part in this monumental event.

The Alms Center is located at 1 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Bridgeton.

For more information on Rowan College of South Jersey’s Workforce Development programs, call (856) 776-2372.

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