About RU Ready for Work (ORIGINAL)

RU Ready for Work (RUR) is a year­round, replicable youth workforce and college/career readiness development program created and administered by the Office of University­ Community Partnerships (OUCP). RU Ready for Work fosters the development of skills that prepare Newark youth to compete successfully for positions and careers in today’s workforce. RU Ready’s goals are to: (1) promote retention and persistence to ensure that students graduate from high school; (2) stimulate career awareness and identify pathways; (3) develop workplace etiquette, negotiation and self­management skills to help students retain employment; and (4) support students as they seek and obtain employment or admission to post­secondary higher education, vocational institution, or military services. RU Ready for Work utilizes a tiered development strategy that builds upon lessons learned and
extensive assessment and evaluation over the course of the program. The program design includes educational enrichment, work readiness training, and work placements for students who have attained established preparatory benchmarks. The multigenerational program model also utilizes college students who matriculated through Newark high schools to support and supplement instruction, provide tutoring, and peer mentoring. The program is rigorously evaluated in preparation for its use in other settings.

Academic Year

During the academic year, the RU Ready for Work program is facilitated through after school programming at Rutgers Newark that incorporates work, college/career development and planning, educational support, and enrichment programs for participants. It is designed to facilitate improved academic achievement while providing students with self­ and career exploration opportunities. Together with individual guidance and counseling, these elements enhance students’ abilities to identify, chart, and implement their career goals. In addition, the program introduces students to a broad range of social, cultural, and interpersonal enrichment opportunities to enhance their development and to spark their interest, curiosity, and participation in their own community and the world beyond. All participants receive financial incentive payments through NewarkWORKS. Once program seniors complete their post­secondary planning and placement process they participate in work internships that enable them to apply and hone skills they have acquired, as one of the final steps in preparing to transition into the next phase of their life.

Summer Program

The RU Ready for Work program offers a six­week summer program that engages students in an integrated curriculum of coursework which includes leadership development and strategies for career and academic success, provides a three­day weekly paid work internship, community service experiences, and cultural/educational enrichment components. The weekly schedule includes one day of classes and an array of academic/career­related excursions and presentations. Students engage, interact and connect with local leaders and successful career professionals via a leadership speaker series, participate in a global teleconference and attend cultural enrichment programs. Over the past five years, RUR added a summer career immersion model for Public/Healthcare Service. This highly impactful initiative served as a vehicle to not only prepare RUR students for careers in public and healthcare service but led us to expose students to a broader range of career field options which includes criminal justice, neuro­science and an introduction to entrepreneurship. Rutgers University faculty and staff have been instrumental as instructors and providing work internship experiences for RUR students. The work internships not only enhance their professional development skills but provide mentoring and career coaching by site personnel. Funding/Wages for these paid work internships is/are provided by the Newark Works.


For more information about RU Ready for Work, contact
Lesley Leslie
(973) 353-1173