Updated: Somerset Community Action Program, Township Partner On Workforce Development Program

SCAP Executive Director Mark Harris told the Human Relations Commission about the new Workforce Development Program offered to township residents.

Update: The Township Council on February 22 approved the funding of the program for one year. Up to $250,000 will be allocated from the Township’s share of the federal CARE Act funds. Funding will be allocated on a per-student basis, with 80 percent of the cost paid upon enrollment, 10 percent paid upon completion of the cost and 10 percent paid upon the participant getting a job.

Franklin Township residents looking to change careers or increase their skills in certain areas have a free resource, thanks to the township and the Somerset Community Action Program.

The new Workforce Development Program offers certificate programs in areas such as Certified Nurses Aides, Dental Radiology, ECG Technicians, and Machining Fundamentals, according to SCAP Executive Director Mark Harris. Harris spoke about the program during the January 26 Human Relations Commission meeting.

The classes are held at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, Harris said.

“Many of them are virtual or hybrid at the moment,” he said.

Those who complete the certificated courses “will be helped with job placement,” he said.

“One thing we are seeing in the current market … employers are struggling getting people to come to work, and people are looking for higher skilled level jobs,” Harris said. “They want to increase their earning potential.”

Harris said funding for the program comes from some of the federal money the township received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Harris said they are looking to expand the types of training courses offered.

“We’re looking to offer some CDL (commercial driver’s license) courses because a lot of driving positions are available,” he said. “We’re going to be running the program during the winter, and see what summer course are available.”

Harris said organizers are keeping an eye on what types of jobs are open in the township.

“We don’t want to send people to training and get them a certification and have no jobs available,” he said.

Harris said SCAP would one day like to take the program county wide.

Vouchers are available for those who need transportation to RVCC or who need daycare while they are taking classes, Harris said.

SCAP has office hours in the Franklin Township Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau at 935 Hamilton Street. The hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and 2-6 p./m. on Wednesdays.

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