“We welcome Nelida to our team with great enthusiasm,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “We believe her expertise will help inform our own grantmaking and initiatives, especially as we embark upon a new strategic plan that includes addressing the issue of children living in poverty.”
Nelida has significant knowledge of the Greater Trenton area and extensive experience in grantmaking, working with nonprofit organizations, and implementing social and economic development initiatives.
She was the co-chair of the Greater Trenton Initiative during its formative stages. She also previously served as a trustee on the I AM Trenton Community Foundation, where she also served on their Community Grants Committee. She has served as a trustee of Greater Trenton Behavioral HealthCare, past Chair of Isles Inc., on the board of the local chapter of Planned Parenthood, and as a Commissioner for the Trenton Parking Authority. While Director of the Center for Leadership Development at Thomas Edison State College, she secured funding to launch Leadership Trenton.
She has reviewed grant proposals at the local, state and federal levels. Nelida has participated on grant review panels for the Newark Workforce Investment Board’s Workforce Training Provider Selection Panel; the state Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development Services Grant Teams; the state Department of Education, Charter School Evaluation Committees; the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Promise Cities Initiatives; and the state Department of Community Affairs, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) panels. All of these grant sources fund a variety of youth, education, housing, and jobs programs.
Early in her career, she managed a statewide grantmaking program at the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (formerly Office of Hispanic Affairs), which provides grants to non-profits statewide. She also developed the Hispanic Interns in Community Service Program, a program providing Hispanic students with professional development and work-based experience.
She also previously served as the Executive Director of the state Human Services Advisory Council, which coordinates human services programs and policies with county human services officials.
Most recently, she was a Director at the Innovation Institute at NJIT in Newark, collaborating with more than 100 companies and economic development professionals statewide. From 2010 to 2014, she served as the Executive Director of the Newark Workforce Investment Board, where she created a new job placement center and helped launch the Newark College Institute, which provided students with paid summer work experiences at Newark-area companies. Nelida created and taught a workforce readiness course for Glassroots Inc., a Newark nonprofit, and was invited to provide the keynote address to youth graduating from the Youth Transitions to Work Program at 1199J, a labor union representing healthcare and hospital workers, in Newark.
She has held memberships with the National Association of Workforce Boards, Newark Regional Business Partnership, Workforce Development Council, Garden State Employment and Training Association, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, and the Funders Group for Career Works, previously known as the Greater Newark Workforce Funders Collaborative.
She holds a MA in Political Science/Public Policy from Rutgers University, and a BA in Business Studies from Stockton State College. She also teaches a master’s level course on Leadership and Diversity as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration.
She will begin her new role on July 25.