‘Education to Employment’ Initiative Being Launched in Harrison County

Representatives from Marshall Public Library (from left) Public Services Librarian Jennifer Weaver-Jones and Director Anna Lane, Texas State Technical College Senior Executive Director Loree Scott, and Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council board member Ruby Pye discuss initial strategies for a free adult ‘Education-to-Employment’ outreach program designed to provide the background and skills local employers are seeking from their next employee.

Marshall, TX – February 22, 2018 – Representatives from the Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council (MHCLC), the Marshall Public Library, and Texas State Technical College (TSTC) met this week to discuss the design and implementation of a new initiative, ‘Education to Employment.’  This program will provide adult educational resources to local community members, in addition to technical skills training and certifications, which would lead them into viable employment.  The services will be free to all participants and will include the partnership of area employers ready to interview and hire those who successfully complete a specifically designed training program.

“We think that putting these two training efforts together will not only be an enhanced path to employment for those who participate,” said TSTC Senior Executive Director Loree Scott, “but it will also encourage people to begin with the free, adult education programs who might have been asking themselves ‘why?’.  Now, we can show them ‘why’, and help them take the next step toward employment with the free technical skills training asked for by our community.”

The TSTC classes will be based upon the input and requests of participating employers identifying particular skilled labor or workplace needs. The plan will be financed by a targeted selection of grant opportunities and will include free adult teaching services from the Literacy Council followed by the awarding of these new scholarships for next-step technical training classes at TSTC.

“As we move forward and coordinate with our business partners, we will be reaching out to new community members, and local residents who may have thought that completing an adult education, GED, ESL, driving or citizenship class had no real purpose,” said MHCLC board member Ruby Pye.  “We can now help them with the next step, and that is acquiring real workplace skills that have been requested by our business partners and preparing them for that job, and even with tips for the application and interview process.”

Marshall Public Library is assisting with planning, grant writing, community outreach, and individual referral efforts for the new program. The library will also host the initial adult education sessions that will be conducted in the evening or on weekends to facilitate an accessible class time for all applicants.

“We know that some individuals who will want to be a part of this program have children or current responsibilities that would limit their attendance times,” said Anna Lane, Director of the Marshall Public Library.  “We will work with the Literacy Council to get them through, not only the initial training they might need, but also coordinate and provide resources to help them learn and attain job readiness skills.”

The plan is recognized as ambitious by all involved. After contacting area businesses to assess what specialized trainings, skills, or expertise is required in their respective business or industry, the Education-to-Employment group will facilitate trainings and classes to help individuals successfully meet their employment goals.

Potential adult students with interest in this program, and companies with questions or training ideas for their workplace, should contact the MHCLC at (903) 935-0962, or by emailing mhclc117@gmail.com.  In addition, companies that may not need these particular services are also encouraged to get involved and become part of this solution for a bigger and better community and workforce in Marshall and Harrison County.

Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council (MHCLC)

Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization supported by grants, donations and fundraising activities.  The agency has served the community for 25 years helping to educate local adults with reading, writing and math programs.  MHCLC also provides ESL, GED, and citizen preparation classes.  All classes and services are at no cost, performed by community volunteers, and hosted by the Council.  Services provide community members not only with basic adult life skills to enhance job opportunities and educational choices but to also assist, as a parent, their own school-aged children with learning and homework projects. For more information on the MHCLC program and learning services, or ‘how to volunteer’ visit www.marshallliteracy.org  or call (903) 935-0962.

Marshall Public Library

The Marshall Public Library aspires to be a vibrant destination that ignites imagination, fosters lifelong learning, and inspires the community to greater achievement.  In addition to offering free access to books and computers, the library also offers many other services including free wi-fi, digital books and magazines, and computer classes.  The library has a wide array of resources on a variety of topics and provides programming for all age groups.  More information about the library can be found by visiting www.marshallpubliclibrary.org, viewing their Facebook page, emailing the library at info@marshallpubliclibrary.org or by calling (903) 935-4465.

Texas State Technical College

Texas State Technical College serves Texas through 10 campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County. TSTC is the only college in Texas to adopt a funding model based entirely on student employment outcomes – aligning with its purpose of strengthening Texas with a highly skilled, technically competent workforce. Founded in 1965, TSTC celebrated 50 years of service to the state of Texas in 2015.  For more information about TSTC visit www.tstc.edu.

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