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MCCC Awarded Two-Year Grant to Enhance Basic Literacy, Job Readiness


West Windsor, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has awarded Mercer County Community College (MCCC) and its literacy partners, known as the Mercer County Consortium, a $565,694 two-year grant to expand programs and services for area adult residents in need of basic literacy and job readiness skills.

As the lead agency, MCCC works collaboratively with seven literacy partners to help area residents lift barriers toward reaching educational goals, job obtainment and advancement. Consortium partners include Latinas Unidas, YWCA of Trenton, Literacy Volunteers in Mercer County Inc., Lutheran Social Ministries’ Immigration and Refugee Services, YWCA of Princeton, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), Mercer Street Friends and the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education.

For many years MCCC has provided programs in Adult Basic Education, General Educational Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL) at its downtown Trenton James Kerney Campus and at extension sites. The college is currently implementing a hybrid/blended instructional model that combines face-to-face instruction with individualized assignments that are completed via computer or other electronic devices.

The demand for GED and ESL classes continues to increase for all age groups, says Melinna Harris, director of Community Education and Training for MCCC and project director of the Mercer County Consortium. “Of the almost 33,000 adults in Mercer County without a high school diploma, 51% live in Trenton.” She adds that Mercer County continues to attract people from all over the world who need to improve their English language skills. “In this economy, a high school diploma or GED and functional English language skills are minimum requirements to find a job or advance at work.”

Harris says the goal of the consortium is to offer quality programs that will help participants reach their educational goals and prepare for the workforce of the future. “I strongly believe that those with the least educational opportunities and/or skill sets deserve the best instructors and resources available,” she said.

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