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Business leaders emphasized community and collaboration during a recent Newark Networking Breakfast at Berkeley College, where attendees also toured the campus and learned about initiatives that benefit employers, such as Berkeley’s Corporate Learning Partnership program.

Keynote speaker Alan Sickles, MD, CEO of Saint Michael’s Medical Center, also shared his journey to hospital administration and the many ways Saint Michael’s – a 358-bed acute care hospital in the heart of Newark – is growing.

“Saint Michael’s is a great example of how an organization changes with time,” Sickles said. “At the core of it, if we can take care of our patients in the best way possible and provide the highest level of care to the community we serve, everything else falls into line.”

Under Sickles’ leadership, Saint Michael’s received numerous awards for patient safety, added new services lines including for advanced neuro-interventional stroke care, and will launch an ambulance service for the first time under Newark’s 911 system. The hospital has also expanded its graduate medical education programs, including adding new fellowships in various specialties including hematology/oncology, cardiology, and gastroenterology, among others.

“Hospitals, physicians, and nurses have a very long history of teaching,” Sickles said. “It is central to what we do. By growing the number of students and residents we have in the building, it elevates the conversation.”

Since Berkeley opened its Newark campus in 2006, the college has been part of the city’s economic revival. To date, the college has awarded more than 1,700 degrees and certificates to students who began their education journey at Berkeley College in Newark.

Diane Recinos, EdD, president of Berkeley College, discussed initiatives including Continuing Education certificates and courses that can meet the needs of professionals seeking to advance in their careers, and the College’s Master of Science in Nursing program. She also discussed the Newark Promise Grant, an opportunity for qualified residents of Essex County to pursue a degree without incurring any loans for tuition and fees.

“We all know that education has the power to transform lives,” Recinos said. “The Newark Promise Grant is an opportunity for students to achieve their full potential without being burdened by debt, and to further our mission in helping students scale the income ladder.”

In addition to preparing students for a wide range of careers, Berkeley College also specializes in continuing education for working professionals. Corporate Learning Partnerships provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills to take on new roles and responsibilities. Corporations that choose Berkeley as their educational partner benefit from customized courses and flexible evening and weekend course scheduling to minimize employee downtime.

Noting that Berkeley College will hold its commencement ceremony at Prudential Center in Newark on May 11, Berkeley College leaders encouraged representatives of the companies and organizations in attendance to connect with its Career Services team about filling open positions with a qualified intern or graduate.

“As a Newark resident and a Berkeley College alumnus, I take great pride in leading this campus and supporting the College’s mission of empowering students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers,” said Luis Collazo, campus operating officer, Berkeley College in Newark.

“Whether you are a company that employs our students and graduates or a nonprofit that provides much-needed services to our community, you are all part of our success story, and we truly value your partnership,” Collazo said.

The April 5 event also collected donations for the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry, one of three on-campus food pantries that serve students.

Photo Caption: Alan Sickles, MD, CEO, Saint Michael’s Medical Center speaking at Berkeley College’s recent Newark Networking Breakfast.