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These articles were prepared for the February 22, 2006 issue of U.S. 1
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Employees? Who needs them? Terri Adams has managed to avoid hiring a
single one as principal of Adams Consulting Group, based in her
Princeton home (email@example.com)
It’s not that Adams advises owners of small businesses to do it on
their own. What she has done herself – and preaches for others – is
the development of strategic partnerships to provide help when it’s
needed. For Adams, networking at chambers of commerce and similar
organizations doesn’t mean just looking for potential customers. She
also keeps her eyes open for people whose business strengths and
knowledge areas complement her own.
Adams talks about "Strategic Partnerships: Grow Your Business without
a Staff" at a meeting of the Middlesex-Somerset NJAWBO chapter on
Monday, February 27, at 5 p.m. at the Somerset Ramada. Cost: $35. RSVP
to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Mary D. Podolak, programming vice
president, at 732-432-7754.
With experience ranging from restaurant management to organizational
development, Adams started a small business consulting practice in
2001. "I found that one thing I didn’t want to create initially was
employees," she says, because she didn’t want to deal with the
consequent management and tax issues. Instead, when faced with a large
contract or project, "I would reach out to partners who would go away
when the project was done."
One of her partnerships is with someone Adams met through the
Princeton Chamber who develops promotional products. A big part of her
business comes from corporations who ask her to do training for a big
product launch or a new initiative. If these companies are also
looking for a package that includes promotional products to symbolize
the new product line or vision, then Adams turns to this partner.
This way she can deliver what she calls a "more holistic proposal."
And it turns out to be cheaper for the client than an "a la carte"
approach. Because she uses this partner exclusively when she needs
promotional expertise, he also gives her a special discount that she
can pass along to the customer. In return, says Adams, "each time I
have an opportunity to refer or integrate promotional products, he
will get the business." The cycle continues when a client contacts him
with a new initiative, and he might ask, "Who is helping you to launch
this new product line?"
Based her own experience, Adams offers this advice about partnering to
other small business owners:
Go for the big contracts. Even though you are small, you don’t have to
limit yourself to small contracts. "With partnering," she says, "you
can deliver a more well-rounded product rather than try to get a
sliver of the pie." Suppose you write marketing copy and someone needs
a website. You’re good on the words, but you may need a designer who
knows how to position copy in a user-friendly way, and you may also
need an website optimizer, who will put in key words so that search
engines call up the site. Tapping these partners means that you may be
able to get a big contract that you never could have gotten on your
Find partners before you lose business. Small operators can lose
contracts either because they are perceived as too small to handle a
large contract or because they don’t have available skills
complementary to their own. Adams asks, "Moving forward, are there
likely partners you could be scouting out now?"
Don’t expand your company. Expand your network of partners instead.
Remember that business is cyclical. If you hire when you are in the
middle of a crunch, those employees may have little to do when
business slows down.
Befriend big business. Many large companies cannot be bothered with
small projects, and, in part because of their high overhead, need to
charge top-of-the range fees. Still, they want to hang onto customers.
The solution can be to refer customers with small projects to trusted
owners of small businesses, who are happy to take on the small
projects, and who are able to charge less for doing so.
As an example, Adams says that a big accounting firm with high fees
may have a continuing alliance with a smaller firm that is more
affordable for certain customers.
Share the cost of doing a trade show. With charges of $1,500 to $3,000
for a booth, trade shows may be beyond the means of small businesses.
One option for two businesses that sell different things to the same
audience is to share the cost and the leads generated.
Seek out complementary partners. Ask yourself, "What other services
would round out what I do?" One potential partner for Adams was a
staffing agency, because its clientele was similar to hers. "Their
target is human resource departments who either manage temporary or
part-time employees or place full-time employees," she says.
"Sometimes in my business, the human resource area is my main partner
in establishing a new initiative like management development."
Determine whether a potential partner is the right partner. If you
meet someone at the Princeton Chamber, for example, ask yourself not
only whether you like them, but also whether you trust them. Ask who
else they know in the chamber, and then talk to those people. If you
get a good feeling, and have done due diligence, then go ahead.
Start very small and see how it goes. If the person seems substantial,
honest, and ethical, then propose something low-risk – like sharing a
single lead. If it works out on a small scale, go larger. The next
step may be to share five other contacts or to move to more
substantive sharing. Adams tried out her promotional products partner
with a growing bank, which was instituting a new management
development program. "It was a small project and went well," says
Adams, "and he gave me a good price." Slowly they have been expanding
that partnership with riskier ventures that require a larger up-front
Learn about how your partner works. Adams is now working on a project
with a new partner, whose expertise in leadership and strategic
planning complements her own in developing effective management teams
and increasing productivity. They are now creating and testing a
three-part "webinar," or online seminar, and preparing chunks of
information for "attendees" to download ahead of time. Their projected
audience is CEOs and owners of small to midsize businesses.
Adams observed how her partner worked, looking at how driven he was,
checking out his efficiency, and seeing if he was able to keep costs
Make sure each person’s tasks are defined. Set expectations about what
the goals are and what each partner expects to gain. Adams and her
webinar partner have agreed to a 50-50 partnership. Partners must also
decide how to measure what each one is doing and how to determine
whether their collaboration has been a success. Make the goals
specific. In this project, the partners’ goal is to cover costs and
get "great testimonials" to use in marketing their next webinar.
Draw up a contract. Make either a formal or an informal agreement,
depending on the level of partnering. If there are a lot of dollars at
stake, Adams advises involving legal counsel. For the bank’s
promotional products, she and her partner had a one-page agreement
specifying the discount Adams would get, and the discount he will get
if he refers her or if they land a joint project with one of his
She and her webinar partner are drilling out an agreement because they
have to invest money up front. They are also using the agreement to
identify the roles and responsibilities of each person, quantify what
each expects to gain, and lay-out what will happen to the business and
its profits if one person becomes disabled or dies. The agreement will
also include what will happen if the partnership dissolves.
"If money is at stake, people are greedy," says Adams, so agreements
must be made in advance. An agreement should also include liability
Adams, the youngest of five children. didn’t know what she wanted to
do with her life until she turned 30. After she received a degree in
accounting from LaSalle University, in her hometown of Philadelphia,
she went to work in the field, but every time she went out to clients,
they would ask, "Are you sure you are in the right field?" Most
accountants, she explains, were not as verbose and
relationship-oriented as she was.
Since she had always wanted to own a restaurant, she decided to
investigate that industry. In Philadelphia there were two restaurants
she especially liked. When one told her they would have an opening in
three months, she suggested that they hire her immediately and rotate
her through the business – kitchen, pastries, waitressing, back office
– and that in the end she could be a manager.
But there was a big downside to the restaurant business. "I had no
life," she says. Adams got a master’s degree in education, with a
focus on organizational development, at Temple University, and then
went after a position in the hospitality business. "I knew what it was
like to run a business and now I had the theoretical information about
how to make organizations work better," she says. Her first job, at
Scanticon, brought her to Princeton in 1988.
Then she moved to Merrill Lynch, where her first position was in
management and leadership-development training. When she had to move
to South Carolina for her husband’s job, Merrill Lynch allowed her to
telecommute. A promotion brought her back to Princeton, where she
worked in succession planning in the technical division, then moved
into sales, helping financial advisors work together in teams and
position themselves effectively with affluent clients.
In 2001 Adams took a voluntary severance package, and went out on her
own. For the first couple of years, she used her connections at
Merrill Lynch to get most of her business. Having worked with
financial advisors, though, she knew better than to have all her eggs
in one basket and made a conscious effort to broaden her base.
She loves working for herself, and says that only once in four years
did she think about going back to work for someone else. The biggest
challenge for her has been the unpredictability, but now she puts
money aside for the low times, and, team builder that she is, she has
a group at the ready who can step up to the plate when she is busy.
– Michele Alperin
Whom do you choose to light your business’ fuse? You could go with
that exquisitely accessorized MBA ensconced in his plush office, or,
just maybe, you might go with a girl who at 14 lied about her age so
she could join the Avon team – and went on to become of its top sales
reps. That would be Lorraine Allen, who, four years after fudging her
birthday to join Avon, was running both a pharmacy and her own graphic
arts studio. Going with spunk and a proven track record, rather than
with formal credentials, the Mercer/Middlesex SBDC chose Allen as its
director four years ago.
Allen speaks on "Uncovering Hidden Markets" on Tuesday, February 28,
at 9 a.m. at the Trenton Business and Technology Center in Trenton.
Cost: $25. Call 609-989-5232. Allen’s talk is designed for both
starting up entrepreneurs and for owners of established firms.
Allen tries to tick off all the businesses she started or helped
expand over the years, but she runs out of fingers. She grew up in
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Her father was an invalid, a situation that
propelled her into business at an early age. Some time after selling
Avon, and during her years running her graphic arts studio, she
studied at Moore College of Art and Design and earned a bachelor’s in
art from the University of Millerville. She began a house cleaning
business and did freelance artwork to fund her own art studio at
Ridley Park. "We did so much beyond selling graphics," Allen recalls.
"We started an art school for kids. I had first graders learning to
retouch photos. This drew in the parents and brought in new business."
This studio led Allen into doing advertising work for Philadelphia
gift companies and teaching art at the college level. She then became
director of an art gallery in Ardmore. Yet unlike most artists, Allen
was happy to funnel her creativity into business. Terming herself
"creative manager," she teamed up with a regional chain of wall
covering stores. Through them, she met a Philadelphia plumbing
contractor who invited her to take over his inside and outside
marketing. Providing this firm vision and new clients beyond
Philadelphia, the contractor expanded to a national network of
offices, with substantial international dealings. And then Allen, as
always, moved on.
Crossing the river into Trenton, she joined Southern Tours, for whom
she would squire foreign CEO’s on elegant executive sorties. "They may
have been terrors in the board room," she says, "but on these tours,
they were just like playful, wide-eyed little kids." Allen’s husband,
a tour bus driver, in an effort to keep his wife closer to home,
suggested she employ her business acumen to help enhance Wellsy’s Deli
on Montgomery Street in Trenton. The business did so well that the
Small Business Development Center took notice and, after comparing her
with 52 candidates, offered her the opportunity to consult at their
shop, which she has done for the past 11 years.
"I don’t even want to see the business plan when entrepreneurs first
come in seeking advice," says Allen. "I want them to solidly show me
their markets. Who is going to put that ching in your cash register?
You will need that actual revenue before anything else." The trick is
to get beyond the traditional niches and ferret out those creative,
less obvious market sources – like Allen’s children’s art school
operated within her design studio.
Tapping in. For the entrepreneur, the gap between identifying a market
and actually tapping into a specific customer base is the difference
between cratering and thriving. If you are starting up a lawn care
service, the standard selective mailings, E-mailings, and local ads,
while necessary, only bring your product to a very generalized area.
Allen proposes that you place yourself in the buyer’s shoes and walk
to the places he visits. Get referrals from seed suppliers, arborists,
local nurseries. Such linking broadens the services both of your firm
and of the firms with whom you link.
The concept of targeting neighbors for a selective niche works not
only in small retail, but in also in large business-to-business
enterprises. How well do you really know the businesses and client
lists of those in your office park? While you may not sell to the
office next door, who knows what their vendors, suppliers, or in-laws
On the road. Charity has become big in business because it makes
businesses bigger. Host a bicycle rally for heart disease and
instantly thousands know what you do and what you sell. Your event
need not be complex or involve large amounts of staff time. "Ben and
Jerry’s every year goes through the streets of New York giving away
free ice cream," says Allen. "Not every company can feed all of
Manhattan, but the small retailer can do school events – free ice
cream after a high school dance. It automatically sets your name on
Look at the event before the price. If you can’t swing the expense of
the 10K run that would really be ideal, partner up with other
Personal interest. "Always lean toward your loves," says Allen. The
financial planner who specializes in small businesses may have a
niche, but he lacks customer renown. Yet suppose this planner is also
an outdoorsman. He loves to hike, kayak, fish, and of course he knows
all the latest outdoor gear. His potential client list rolls out
naturally – sports stores, outfitters, boat shops, outdoor gear sales
Because of his special expertise in their field, folks trust this
financial planner’s expertise in his own. They are likely to pass his
name onto outing club members or other like companies. Also, beyond
investment advice, the planner might be invited, on a limited scale,
to provide campaign and strategy suggestions.
Too many markets? With all the pundits screaming for focused niche
marketing, the entrepreneur seeking to branch out into new territories
can feel a bit shaky. Is he bucking conventional wisdom, or just
traditional fear? When does reaching for more stretch one too thin?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this age old problem. Allen
notes that "every company alive changes. Keep a careful list of what
you offer and keep checking it against what the current needs are."
Allen emphasizes that it is important to keep your nose to the wind.
Monitor the economy and general business environment and see if a
fiscal pinch is looming over the horizon. Finally, build, don’t leap.
Create one market, lay a foundation, and continue in it as long as
profit lasts. Then, once the first is established, move into another.
"America is the most demanding business climate," says Allen, "because
it has so many resources and so much speed. Entrepreneurs work harder
for less pay than any group I know. But each one is a diamond waiting
to be polished. Anyone could be the next Bill Gates."
– Bart Jackson
Have a problem with losing things? A pair of gloves is one thing, not
too expensive and relatively easy to replace. But what about that
"free" cell phone, which costs a couple hundred dollars to replace? Or
your teenager’s new $250 MP3 player? And then there’s the most
valuable of valuables-curious toddlers off exploring a new
environment, who suddenly drop out of sight.
Remote Play, headquartered in Lawrenceville, can help habitual cell
phone and MP3 misplacers as well as the desperate parents of wandering
toddlers with products it has developed using custom wireless tracking
technologies. Its two principal products are a toddler tracking
device, In-Reach, and a newer tracking device for lost valuables, Tag
Ari Naim, president and CEO of Remote Play, makes a product
presentation at the New Jersey Technology Council’s half-day "Wireless
Evolution: Applications, Services and Content Expo," on Tuesday,
February 28, at 1 p.m. at Stevens Institute of Technology’s Babbio
Center in Hoboken. Sponsors are Drinker Biddle,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Wachovia Bank. Topics include mobile
multimedia and marketing, place shifting, social networks,
location-based services (for example, cell phones with global
positioning systems, and streaming ads from local restaurants), mobile
video streaming, and other technology and network developments. Cost:
$50, but $5 for students. Register online at www.njtc.org. For more
information, call 856-787-9700.
The technology that Naim’s three-year-old company uses is called
active RFID (radio frequency identification). This technology is
expected to gain wide acceptance, says Naim, the price for an RFID tag
comes down from the current 60 to 70 cents. For example, Wal-Mart
eventually will require all of its vendors to use RFID tags on all
items, both for security tracking and inventory control. Active RFID
uses a tiny battery in the tag to increase the range between the tag
and the monitor that tracks it. Passive RFID devices, on the other
hand, have no batteries, require an expensive reader, and have a range
of about a foot.
With Remote Play’s In-Reach Child Tracking System, marketed by Safety
1st, the parent has a monitor and the child a tag. There is a
dependable range of 300 feet between parent and child. The parents’
device has an LCD and can be set for six different distance levels. If
the toddler wanders past one of the set distances, the parent is
instantly alerted. The parent can also press a button that makes the
child’s device emit a high-pitched alarm, which will draw attention to
child. Older toddlers can push a panic key if they get lost. The cost
The company’s personal assets security device, called Tag Alert,
protects valuables through the use of very tiny tags. Naim estimates
their 2-1/2 millimeter thickness as two-thirds the height of two
quarters stacked. The battery runs continuously for 6 months, so "you
don’t have to think to turn it off and on. It’s a little bodyguard."
How many people have put down their phone, laptop, or even their
Ray-Ban sunglasses, at a restaurant, and simply walked away? Or
they’re jogging and the phone flips out of their pockets. Three hours
and 20 errands later, they realize they’ve lost something and have to
retrace their steps. With Tag Alert, once the item exceeds the range
you’ve set, the monitor – used as a key fob or clipped to clothing –
sends an alert. "If you are 10 to 15 feet away, and it starts
buzzing," says Naim, "your ability to retrieve it is high." Of course,
Tag Alert will not prevent a 6′ 4" burglar from grabbing a laptop and
Naim envisions many types of users for tag alert: jet setters who run
from one plane to the next and leave their luggage in the overhead
bin; elderly people who are becoming more forgetful; and nine-year-old
kids who may have $500 worth of stuff in their GameBoy pouches.
Naim believes that Tag Alert’s value goes beyond avoiding loss. A
special car version of the product, he says, removes the "hassle
factor" of driving to work, say, and forgetting something essential
like your cell phone. The Tag Alert is available in Sharper Image
stores with two tags and a monitor for $49 and with one tag and
monitor, $39, and Naim foresees a lower price by the end of the year.
Future versions of the Tag Alert should be able to track 5 to 10
different items – keys, purse, laptop, MP3 player, cell phone. Remote
Play is also evaluating using RFID networks to track patients in a
Although Remote Play’s products are custom, the field has been
developing two formalized standards. Standards are developed by
committees and create compatibility between products made by different
companies. For example, if you have a phone from Motorola and a
headset from Phillips, you need a standard so that the two can
communicate. The first wireless standard, Blue Tooth, is used by
people who are walking around with headsets that communicate with
their cell phones. Another standard – not as mature as Blue Tooth – is
Zigbee. Pioneered by people interested in home automation, Zigbee is
still expensive and developing.
Remote Play uses nonstandard, custom wireless. "The advantage of
custom," says Naim, "is that we don’t have to satisfy a list of
requirements. If we used Zigbee, it would be more expensive, the
battery life worse, and it would not be commercially viable."
Nonstandard products, however, are a possibility only when you control
both sides of the communication.
Remote Play is Naim’s third company. The first, which he started in
1987, did R & D and government contracts. The next one, Digital 5, was
founded in 1993 to commercialize portable digital audio. Naim says
that Digital 5 was the first to create, design, and manufacture this
technology, and the company sold it both under its own brand and for
other companies like RCA, Phillips, and Dictaphone. It was also the
first to create digital audio downloads from the Internet, which
evolved into the MP3 player. Naim says he was shocked when the iPod
appeared in stores -he considered the technology too fragile for the
consumer market. "You drop it once and it’s finished," he says.
Naim’s father was an Israeli foreign service officer, and he grew up
all over the world. He was born in Nairobi, Kenya; his sister in
Tokyo, Japan; and only his brother in Israel (his family returned to
Israel so that at least one child would be a native). His mother was
originally a Bostonian. After finishing his army service in 1985, Amir
came to Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he got a bachelor’s
degree in chemical and electrical engineering, a master’s in
electrical engineering, and, in 1992, a Ph.D. in electrical and
Remote Play has three other cofounders: Israel Amir, chief technology
officer; Ari Naim’s brother, Gideon Naim, chief financial officer; and
Karups Annamalai, vice president of engineering. The company has 10
employees in Lawrenceville, 10 in India, and a few in Hong Kong. It
uses outside contractors for manufacturing.
Naim appears to have found a deep niche in the evolving world of
wireless. The chances of losing things is pretty good. According to an
ABC News report, 18,000 items are turned into the lost-and-found
department at Grand Central Station each year. MSNBC, in January,
2005, reported that, "an estimated 11,300 laptops computers, 31,400
handheld computers, and 200,000 mobile phones were left in taxis
during the last six months."
What would their owners give to have the data-filled $3,000 laptops or
the cell phones, with their programmed numbers, back? Naim’s company
is banking on the answer coming in at just about $39, the price of one
of his wireless tags.
– Michele Alperin
The myths shrouding mediation are manifold. Two parties square off in
a room bristling with anger, loathing each other, sick of the argument
that sparked their feud. Then the mediator steps in. Armed with
nothing but a few precious pearls of wisdom, he transforms the room.
Joyously the contending parties shake hands and, without the egregious
costs of court and attorneys, they quickly reach a settlement. Let’s
No mystical gift or soothing personage hammers out agreements.
Mediating successfully between two contending parties takes skill,
psychology, a cool head, and a whole bundle of techniques garnered
over the years. To help those considering a mediation career, and
those already in it, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal
Education offers a "Mediation Workshop" on Tuesday, February 28, at 5
p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Edison. Cost: $189. Visit www.NJICLE.com
Covering many of the more advanced mediation techniques, this course
features the Honorable William Dreier, former presiding judge of the
Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division; Robert Margulies,
past chairman of the New Jersey Small Business Administration Dispute
Resolution System; and attorney Russell M. Woods of Cranford-based law
firm Woods & Trembulak.
While the art of mediation involves no magic, some seem to have the
magic touch. Since l998, when Judge Dreier stepped down from a quarter
century on the bench, he has maintained an astounding 97 percent
successful settlement rate as a mediator. Part of this success may be
due to a long family immersion in New Jersey business, part can be
credited to a lifetime of legal experience. But probably the greatest
factor is Dreier’s personal dedication to public service.
In l861 Dreier’s Sporting Goods opened its doors in Plainfield, and
stood as a town fixture all through Dreier’s youth, while his father,
and then his uncle, managed it. After earning a B.S. from M.I.T. in
business and engineering administration in l958, Dreier took his law
degree at Columbia and returned to his hometown to practice. Joining
the small firm of McKensey, Welsh and Dreier, he became a local
banking lawyer and city attorney. He served on the Plainfield town
council while he was still in his 20s. "That was the early sixties –
the time of the Plainfield riots," Dreier recalls. "It took every
ounce of skill and tact to put out the fires that kept cropping up."
By age 35, Dreier became the youngest judge in the New Jersey. "Even
then the job meant a 50 percent cut in income," he says. After a full
career of 25 years on the bench, Dreier "retired" to a full-time
position with Norris, McLaughlin and Marcus in Bridgewater. In
addition to helping private clients, he acts as both an arbitrator and
Time and money have sent Americans scurrying to arbitrators and
mediators in exploding numbers. In l995 the American Arbitration
Association recorded 62,000 cases that had been either mediated or
arbitrated. In 2005 the number was up to 140,000 cases. (Only 15,000
of these were labor-management quarrels.) Reasons for the increase
could include ballooning legal fees and the extensive delays that
occur as a case winds its way through the courts.
"The courts are welcoming the relief mediation means for their
calendars," says Dreier. On January l9 the New Jersey passed the
Uniform Mediation Act. In addition to clarifying several mediation
standards, this law protects against disclosures of any aspect of an
alternative dispute resolution. Mediators are prohibited from
testifying about their cases. Margulies says that "I think this
demonstrates how much the courts understand that mediation is a
Yet despite the new protections, Dreier finds the mediator’s lot is a
very challenging one.
Feeling powerless. "The most difficult thing for a mediator to learn,"
says Dreier, "is that he is not judging anything – in fact, he does
not make any decisions for anyone." Instead, the mediator simply
facilitates. When two parties are arguing over a fair price, he does
not set the figure. He takes the much more difficult road of nudging
each and letting them choose an agreeable price.
"For judges and attorneys, this facilitator role is often a real
shock," says Dreier. "When you’ve spent years of taking charge and
handing down solutions, it is difficult to take this more hands-off
Proffering catharsis. Right from the outset, Dreier’s technique is to
have each party vent its whole story, back from the beginning. "These
people have been stewing about this issue, and living with it day and
night," he says. "What they most need when they walk in that door is
to get it all off their chest." He encourages the parties to tell
their tale in the style of a full explanation of events, not an
For the contenders, this telling usually affords some emotional
relief. For the mediator it provides the first clues to his next step.
Figuring out the heart of the problem. Once the air is cleared, and
the initial bones of contention are laid bare, Dreier tries to distill
the prime interest of each party. He seeks to infer exactly what it is
that they most want out of this settlement. It is surprising how
frequently employees want only an apology and a good letter of
reference. Too often employers, seeing only a threat to their bottom
line, ignore this basic, human solution.
In contract disputes, Dreier often discovers that amidst all the
quibbling over numbers, all one party wants is to get out of the
situation with his credit intact ASAP. "When you can finally infer and
establish that prime principle of each party, it puts you well on the
road towards settlement," says Dreier.
Walking an ethical tightrope. While now an official statute under the
Uniform Mediations Act, the concept of never disclosing any aspect of
a case has long been common law and a binding code among all
mediators. Even in matters concerning settlements reached years ago,
mediators will never reveal names, the contents of documents, or
More difficult than this code of silence is the rule of no present or
future fraternization with clients. More than one misguided attorney
has tried to use the mediation process as a job interview with one
party – or even both. This is regarded in the trade as a particularly
bad way to fish.
As the numbers of people seeking some alternative dispute resolution
climbs, so does the need for qualified mediators. In addition to those
in the legal system, many mediators are drawn from the ranks of
accountants, psychologists, and business people who are highly
qualified in a specific field. Dreier suggests it as a nice
semi-retirement career. Descriptions and qualifications can be
obtained by contacting the Professional Mediation Association at
– Bart Jackson
Beginning on Wednesday, March 1, both Mercer County Community College
and Middlesex County College will offer literacy courses for workers
employed in small businesses thanks to a partnership with the New
Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The courses are designed to help train employees of small and
medium-sized transportation and distribution, health care,
hospitality, and food service companies in Middlesex County. They
include mathematics, English as a second language, computer skills,
work readiness, literacy, and communication skills.
The courses may prepare workers for enrollment in technical skill
In the Middlesex program, participants must be workers employed 30
hours or more per week by a business in Middlesex County. For more
information call 732-548-6000.
The MCCC program operates in partnership with the New Jersey
Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It targets employees of
small- and medium-sized Mercer County companies in fields such as
transportation and distribution, health care, hospitality,
landscaping, custodial and building services, food service, and
maintenance and repair.
MCCC will offer classes at both its campuses. At the James Kerney
campus in downtown Trenton, the offerings will be basic skills math,
English as a second language (ESL) I and II, and work readiness.
Classes offered at the West Windsor campus will include ESL I, basic
communications, and a PC Skills series (Windows, Word Processing,
Internet and E-mail). Classes at both campuses will be offered in the
early morning or evening, and additional times may be arranged
depending on need.
"These courses will provide critical skills necessary to improve
workers’ on-the-job performance and open up opportunities for them to
advance on the job," said MCCC’s acting president Thomas N. Wilfrid in
a prepared statement. "In addition, the courses will help participants
gain the literacy skills they need to enroll in any of the technical
skills programs available at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges."
Participants must be employed 30 hours or more per week by a business
in Mercer County. Contact Lynn Coopersmith at 609-586-4800 ext. 3241,
or E-mail email@example.com.
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