News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Melonie Marano, Commissioner Deputy Director

Sara Sooy, Commissioner Ÿ  Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Doug Singleterry, Commissioner


August 30, 2022

Free Literacy Programs Available in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties

Free adult literacy programs for English-language learners of all skill levels are available this fall for residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board’s Literacy Committee and its providers strive to share information as well as expand the effectiveness of these free programs in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Providers of these programs include Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), and the Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission (HCECS).

Programs are funded by a federal grant through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which helps adults gain the necessary literacy and English skills they will need to participate in workforce training programs and employment.

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC)
RVCC offers free classes in literacy and English language skills to help individuals prepare for employment in the food service industry. Fall classes will be held remotely, via Zoom.

Integrated English Literacy classes and the Civics Education Program teach skills such as listening, speaking and writing. Class participants who complete the literacy program and 10 hours of training in the areas of appreciation, prevention, avoidance and reduction of health hazards and safety in the workplace are eligible to receive certifications for either ServSafe Food Handler or OSHA 10. These certifications are required by most entry-level restaurants and food service jobs.

Placement testing occurs in September, for 11 classes scheduled in October. Zoom classes are planned for the evening and day at different times throughout the week. Classes will accept 15 to 17 people and meet twice a week for 2.5 hours.

For more information about classes, visit To schedule a placement-testing session, email or call 908-526-1200, ext. 8686.

Hunterdon County Education Services Commission (HCESC)
High school equivalency, basic computer skills and English Language Acquisition classes are offered by the HCESC at five in-person locations in both counties.

Eleven classes are planned to run two days per week at various times at the following locations:

  • Bound Brook, at the Bound Brook Library (evenings)
  • Flemington, at the Flemington Adult Literacy Center on Bartles Corner Road (mornings and evenings)
  • In the Somerset section of Franklin, at Franklin Middle School (evenings); at the Christian Center of Somerset (including a hybrid option) (evenings)
  • In Somerville, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (mornings)

HCESC Workforce Learning Link
The HCESC also operates two Workforce Learning Link sites offering adult literacy programs. These programs, offered through the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Center and funded by the GRWDB, have virtual and in-person components. Visit and click on the Adult Programs/Workforce Learning Link.

For more details, visit and click on the links for Adult Programs/English classes or High School Equivalency classes, email, or call 908-237-5000, ext. 11, in Hunterdon County or 908-541-5781 in Somerset County.

Hunterdon Helpline
Volunteers at Hunterdon Helpline provide free literacy services through custom, one-on-one, barrier-free individualized instruction for low- to high English language levels. For more information, email, call 908-782-4357 or visit

Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County
Volunteers at the Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County provide free English Language Acquisition lessons through one-on-one tutoring in which the student and tutor pick the time and place to meet, and sessions can be in-person or via Zoom. High-beginner through low-advanced levels will be accommodated, with the number of “seats” determined by the number of tutors. Enrollment is available through Sept. 11, and classes will run through Nov. 11.

The Literacy Volunteers also offer Intermediate Conversation Groups on Zoom and in person at the Manville, Bound Brook and Hillsborough libraries; these are drop-in groups, with no seating limits.

For more information, email, call 908-725-5430, or visit, which provides details about LVSC’s year-long Cultural Connections initiative in which tutors and students explored the culture and how it affects communication.

Individuals can contact Literacy Volunteers or Hunterdon Helpline to learn how to become a tutor.

Hunterdon County Library

The Hunterdon County Library offers weekly online English conversation groups on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and Thursdays at 1 p.m. This group accepts low- to high levels of skill, and there is no seat limit. For more information, email or call 908-713-7005.

Zarephath Christian Church
Located in Franklin, Somerset County, the church offers English-language classes, group conversations and accent reduction. For more information, email or call 732-560-4001.

Weekly text updates highlight career and job opportunities in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Text “onestop” to 565-12 to sign up. Additional information on career-development programs offered by the partners of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board can be found at

Questions? Contact GRWDB Board Director Paul Grzella at, or


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