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Adult education key to employment in today’s workforce

Last Modified: Saturday, August 03, 2013 7:34 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

With improvements in technology, there are fewer jobs in today’s workforce that simply require labor. It’s vital for people to be educated up to at least the high school level, said a local workforce advocate.

“The workforce today is an information workforce,” said R.B. Smith, vice president of workforce development at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “That means that our workers have to be able to receive and transmit information accurately. Basic literacy skills are necessary for workers today to have any skills.”

The Literacy Council of Southwest Louisiana is registering adults for the 2013-14 program year.

Adult education services will be available in Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes. In addition, Central Louisiana Technical Community College will host classes in Allen Parish. The services are applicable to anyone who is not enrolled in school, does not have a high school diploma or the equivalent or who needs to improve their academic skills for work or college entrance.

Workers need a strong body and a strong mind, Smith said.

“We have to have people who can read, speak intelligently and be able to compute numbers at a certain level,” Smith said. “Adult education is about getting people up to what has been a standard for a long time that is now critical. We have to be able to get people up to at least a high school level.”

The community-based, nonprofit organization provides instructional programs to cultivate educational skill levels.

Whatever the roadblock is that stops a person from completing high school, the program provides a second chance, said Falencia Evendu, adult education director at the Literacy Council.

“It allows us to give these adults skills they may have missed,” Evendu said. “Adults need to recognize that they’re never too old. Learning is a lifetime experience.”

Testing for most locations will begin Aug. 6. To register, contact the Literacy Council at info@literacyswla.org or 888-LIT-SWLA.



Calcasieu

Adult basic education and GED Prep will be provided at Central School and Sowela Technical Community College. Daytime classes will be 8:30 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday. Evening classes will be 5-8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. ESL classes will be available at Central School. Daytime ESL classes will be 10 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday. Evening ESL classes will be 5-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.



Grand Lake

Residents who live closer to Grand Lake may attend classes there. Adult basic education and GED Prep will be available. Daytime classes will be 8:30 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday. Evening classes will be 4-7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. All classes are at the Cameron Community Action Agency site on La. 384.



Jeff Davis

Residents may attend classes in Jennings at Sowela’s Morgan Smith campus. Daytime classes are 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Three daytime classes will be scheduled: 8-11 a.m., 9 a.m.-noon and 12:30-2:30 p.m. Adults will be scheduled to classes based on space availability and test results. Evening classes are scheduled 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.



Beauregard

Residents may attend class during the day at the Beauregard Education Link or First Street School. Day classes are 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday.



Allen

Residents of Allen Parish may be able to attend classes sponsored by Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Oakdale and Kinder.



Online

Online instructions or distance education is available to adults who reside anywhere in the region.



Emerging readers

Tutoring will be available for adults who are emerging readers. Tutoring sessions will be scheduled at Central School; sites for peer tutoring will be identified with various literacy partners in each parish.



ESL

English as a second language classes are available for adults who live in the area and whose first language is one other than English. Classes are held in Lake Charles during the day and evening.

Automotive technology

An introductory automotive technology program is being offered in conjunction with Sowela Technical Community College. Participants will earn college credit by taking an orientation course and up to eight credit hours of automotive technology. Assistance will be provided as needed to help participants who need to work toward a GED or high school equivalency diploma.

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