DELEG grant puts $300,000 into local adult education

March 12, 2009
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Grand Rapids Community College, the Literacy Center of West Michigan and Michigan Works! ASCET teamed up to snag a $300,000 state grant to boost the education levels of the West Michigan workforce.

The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth is providing $300,000 under the state’s No Worker Left Behind program for adult basic education, English as a Second Language and an enhanced GED program. The Making College Accessible Program is a collaboration between all three organizations and is serving as a model for the method for delivering education to qualifying adults, said Arturo Armijo, GRCC’s executive director of regional learning centers.

Michigan Works! will determine who qualifies for the program. No Worker Left Behind eligibility rules include those are at least 18 years old, are unemployed, or have received notice of termination or layoff, or an employed person whose annual income is $40,000 or less; have not graduated from high school in the past two years and are not enrolled in college.

The Literacy Center will teach ESL and basic adult education at its new location at 1120 Monroe Ave. NW. GRCC will offer an enhanced GED program at the Learning Corner @ Wealthy, 1154 Wealthy St. SE, near Fuller Avenue.

Along with GED instruction, GRCC will incorporate the WorkKeys program, college readiness skills instruction, and certifications for National Career Readiness, computer skills and financial literacy, working with Huntington Bank on the latter, Armijo said.

He said the grant will cover 200 people and runs through September 2010. Recruitment is beginning immediately, he said.

“What we’re going to be doing is leveraging our resources to work with each other,” Armijo said. “DELEG is really looking at this as a template as to how they wanted to structure other programs.”

The grant is part of a total of $2.5 million for adult learning pilot projects statewide.

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