Editorial - Adult Basic Education: A tool
Pat Thomas is pretty firm about this:
They can help train workers, they can help new immigrants adjust to new cultures and towns, they can help older workers looking for new jobs learn computer skills, they can hook up potential workers with employers starving for quality employees. In short, by boosting literacy, they can improve the quality of local workforces.
Thomas, the director of Marshall’s ABE center, is so passionate about her belief in ABE’s power that she pitched the idea of economic development impact to a statewide ABE conference last week near St. Cloud.
She essentially told other ABE members that they’ve reached a pivotal moment in their history, and need to jump forward: They can be a linchpin in economic development in areas that really need the leadership and services. They need to keep doing what they are doing, but tailor it a little more, and give it more oomph make it more noticeable so the community turns to it as a resource.
Last week’s conference included talks by workforce experts
and those who’ve got experience helping immigrants integrate into job markets
and do it well.
Here is the internet address for it: www.marshalladulteducation.org. Once the home page comes up, click the Technology Link on the left of the screen to find all sorts of help.
Thomas and her agency do a lot of good things for
lower-income, struggling and new-immigrant residents of this community and
deserve more recognition than they usually receive. Adult Basic Education should
also be getting recognized from employers in town, because ABE often does the
hard work of getting workers ready for the job.
Lyon County Government Center • 607 W. Main St. • Marshall, MN 56258 • (507) 537-7046