Due to the spread of COVID-19, millions of Texans are out of work. According to the Texas Tribune, as of August 2020 more than 3.2 million Texans have filed for unemployment relief since March.
To help people get back into the workforce, Dallas College is offering the WorkReadyU program, an adult education program that helps people develop new skills needed for career and college success. To meet eligibility for the program you have to be 16 or older, have a valid photo ID and be a Dallas County resident with no bachelor’s or advanced degrees.
Shanese Alexander, WorkReadyU program director, said the program has seen an increase in enrollment since the COVID-19 outbreak. “During the pandemic, I’ve noticed that we’ve been having an increase in the interest,” she said. “The audience has shifted. Students who are applying to get their High School Equivalency are a bit younger. So they have been more comfortable with the online learning.”
Aside from HSE preparation, the program offers an English as a Second Language Academy, which focuses on teaching participants skills such as conversational English, grammar, writing and vocabulary to help them communicate more effectively in the workplace and life.
The program also offers additional career training programs in fields such as Early Childhood Development, AutoCAD Certification, Welding, Entrepreneurship and more.
Christina Percy, a student, said the skills she learned in the Cloud Support Program in WorkReadyU put her in a better position to be hired. “I am grateful for not only the connections I’ve made, but what I’ve learned about the cloud, networking, Linux, programming, presenting, myself and so much more,” Percy said.
Mark Hays, the vice chancellor of workforce & economic development at Dallas College, told CBS 11 News the college feels a responsibility to give back to the community by offering the program. “That’s what we are here for. That’s what we do,” Hays said. “The taxpayers of Dallas County have been generous to us. We have a burden to meet. If not us, who?”
For more information on the WorkReadyU program, click here.