|Left to right: Lyna Lim, adult literacy tutor Bea Hicks, Director of Basic Education Mark McLean, Adult Literacy Program Manager Madeleine Von Laue, Maria Baja, adult literacy tutor Jean Loomis, Mayor Royce Pollard, Ioan Baja, and Mohammad Mohtashami gather at Vancouver City Hall as Mayor Pollard declares "Adult Literacy Week" in Vancouver.|
BETTER SKILLS EQUAL BETTER JOBS
On October 16, members of Vancouver City Council listened attentively as, one by one, students and tutors from Clark College’s Adult Literacy program spoke about their personal journeys and the difference that basic skills classes have made in their lives. They were there to showcase the role Clark College plays in addressing this critical need in our community.
Director of Basic Education Mark McLean accepted a proclamation from Mayor Royce Pollard, declaring October 22-28 as Adult Literacy Week in Vancouver. The mayor’s proclamation supports a similar statewide proclamation by Governor Chris Gregoire.
In her proclamation, the governor said that English as a Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) students will continue to play an important role in Washington’s future workforce. As expanding technology increases the demand for a knowledgeable workforce, Clark College ABE and ESL students—which number between 1,000 and 1,500 each quarter—are coming to classes day and evening to improve their skills in order to be more productive members of society.
During the presentation to the Vancouver City Council, Director of Basic Education Mark McLean explained the importance of adult literacy skills to people and businesses in Southwest Washington.
Clark College also partners with businesses to provide training for members of their workforce. As Executive Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education Lisa Edwards explained, “Limited English and a lack of basic skills have become barriers for advancement for many employees. These classes provide basic skills training to workers so they can advance within companies.”
Each of the tutors and students -- including student Lyna Lim, seen in the photo on the left -- spoke about the difference that Clark's adult literacy program had made in their lives.
In his proclamation, Mayor Pollard noted that “Clark College provides increased opportunities for men and women to succeed through programs that build the basic and pre-college skills necessary for further education, training and employment.” The mayor added that October is “a time to focus public attention and resources on solving this urgent problem because better skills lead to better jobs.”
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