The WorkWell Partnership will be celebrating its first anniversary as an independent nonprofit in December 2023.
WorkWell offers a training program in Trenton to equip returning citizens with job skills, dignity and hope as well as to reduce recidivism among this often forgotten population. Since its inception WorkWell, in partnership with an impressive range of public and private
entities, has served more than 200 returning citizens on their journey toward employment and reintegration into society.
WorkWell is housed in the Steeple Center at 120 East State St. in Trenton. Guided by a skilled staff and more than 35 dedicated volunteer mentors, most graduates of WorkWell’s four-week program quickly receive jobs, or job offers, after developing the insight and confidence to move forward with their lives.
Among the many achievements WorkWell will be celebrating: the completion of 17 training sessions serving more than 200 participants; the awarding of a New Jersey Department of Corrections NJLEAD grant; the development of WorkWell’s Employer Coalition for Returning Citizens, through the generosity of the Bunbury Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, to guarantee jobs for graduates; the creation of customized software in collaboration with Princeton University to enhance WorkWell programs; and the establishment of an ever-growing, integrated network of nonprofit, government and
faith-based organizations that gives WorkWell participants access to a broad range of resources needed for re-entry.
“It’s exciting being part of a collective effort to shape a young nonprofit,” says WorkWell Executive Director Jeannette Rizk. “We want to dream big. Our hope is to establish WorkWell as a solid job-training resource for people in Mercer County, backed by a strong network of agencies, employers and faith-based organizations in Trenton and nearby towns.”
WorkWell originated as the Lawrenceville Job-Training Partnership (LJTP) in 2018, after years of in-depth strategic planning in a church in Lawrenceville. LJTP incorporated as a New Jersey nonprofit, with the goal of working alongside organizational partners with related missions. Its initial program, CookWell, was carried out in partnership with restaurants to prepare returning citizens for food-service careers. When COVID-19 hit and drastically limited restaurant employment, the program was overhauled to meet the needs of returning citizens who sought employment in other industries. The restructuring took place with invaluable assistance from staff members at Uplift, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that offers re-entry programs.
In December 2022, LJTP dissolved and The WorkWell Partnership was launched as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.