One year as an independent non-profit. 
Over 200 returning citizens served.

The WorkWell Partnership, a New Jersey Non-Profit Corporation, celebrated its first anniversary in December 2023. It operates WorkWell, a training program in Trenton, NJ, 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 Street. Guided by a small skilled staff and more than 35 dedicated volunteer mentors, most graduates of WorkWell’s four-week sessions quickly receive jobs, or job offers, after developing the insight and confidence to move forward with their lives.

Among the many achievements WorkWell is celebrating are the completion of 18 training sessions serving more than 200 participants; the award of a New Jersey Department of Corrections NJLEAD grant; the initiation of WorkWell’s Employer Coalition for Returning Citizens, through a capacity-building grant from the Bunbury Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, toward guaranteeing jobs for graduates; the creation of customized software in collaboration with Princeton University to enhance data collection and tracking; 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 to be 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, faith-based organizations and individual volunteers from Trenton and nearby towns.

WorkWell originated as the Lawrenceville Job-Training Partnership (LJTP) in 2018, after years of inclusive strategic planning in a church in Lawrenceville, NJ. LJTP incorporated as a church-affiliated 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, and was renamed WorkWell. The restructuring took place with invaluable assistance from staff members at Uplift Workforce Solutions, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that offers re-entry programs. In December 2022, LJTP was dissolved and The WorkWell Partnership was launched as an independent 501(c)(3) organization and a registered NJ Charity (#CH4535900).