Apr 1, 2024
Author: Trenton Soup Kitchen

The Key to Unlocking Potential

TASK’s education and employment programs open doors to success

TASK knows that access to education is critical to creating more economic opportunities for the people we serve.

Founded in 1991 as a literacy program, TASK’s education program has grown to provide a customized approach to address a wide variety of participants’ goals and needs. In 2024, the program helps students with everything from basic math skills to GED® preparation to ESL and more.

“The program is designed to meet the needs of our community, which have changed as new technologies gain popularity and educational goals have evolved,” explained Calmia (Mia) Hart, Director of Education and Employment Programs. “A flexible and individualized approach is critical.”

Bridging the digital divide and addressing the needs of Trenton’s growing Spanish-speaking population are top priorities for the program today.

In addition to expanding access to educational opportunities, TASK is increasingly investing in its employment services to help people enter the workforce and improve their earning potential.

TASK’s Workforce Development Coordinator Sean Ford and Employment Support Specialist Mary Uhlir provide free employment assistance as well as career readiness and life skills training to help TASK patrons achieve their goals.  TASK’s Computer Resource Specialist Carolyn Burke runs digital literacy courses, provides one-on-one assistance and oversees TASK’s computer lab, aimed at helping patrons get online and navigate the digital landscape.

TASK Workforce Development Coordinator Sean Ford (center) smiles alongside vocational partners from The Rescue Mission and Catholic Charities of Trenton, who accompanied jobseekers to a recent job fair.


By partnering with more than 40 local businesses to host on-site hiring drives as well as resource fairs, the team connects patrons to job opportunities suited to their skills and abilities. They also provide one-on-one job search and retention support as well as placement for job-specific training like security guard licensing, forklift certification and Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs).

This month, TASK will launch TASK’d to Work: A Soft Skills Series, a four-week course to help participants enhance their interpersonal skills (conflict resolution, time management, etc.), and emerge with a renewed sense of confidence and the resources to thrive in the workforce.

TASK’s employment programs have led to many successes. Since 2022, TASK has connected more than 180 patrons with local job opportunities. Over the last two years, more than 735 patrons have attended our hiring fairs to meet with employers including Amazon, Sodexo, UPS, FedEx, Chase, Marquis Health and NJ Transit.

A representative from Trane Heating & Air Conditioning meets with a jobseeker at a recent TASK Career and Resource Fair.


“At the onset of the pandemic, the job search program was in its infancy,” said Hart. “The employment landscape has changed since then. By adding soft skills training and resource fairs ahead of the hiring drives, and strengthening our digital literacy program, we are positioning job seekers to be better prepared for meeting with employers and be successful in the workplace.”


Tag: Adult Education - Job Search - Partnerships - Success Stories - TASK - Date Posted: Apr 1, 2024 - Author: Trenton Soup Kitchen