Southwest Economic Solutions
Adult Learning Lab

Our new Adult Learning Lab in southwest Detroit helps adults improve their literacy, math and computer skills so they can be better qualified for employment. These services are free for eligible participants.


The lab is one of nine new Adult Learning Labs in the city, but is the only one in southwest Detroit, located at 4214 Vernor, across from Clark Park.

The lab offers:

  • GED preparation
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction
  • Adult Basic Education (ABE) for students testing below 9th grade in reading and/or math
  • Educational support for those entering college who need remedial help
  • Computer literacy classes and one-on-one tutoring
  • Academic and career counseling
  • Workplace skills preparation
  • Referrals to Wraparound services
  • Financial literacy as part of GED and ESL classes
  • Instruction and resources for Detroit GreenWorks Solutions trainees

These services are free for eligible participants. Clients must be at least 19 years old, low-income and unemployed or underemployed. Eligible adults do not need to reside in Detroit to enroll in the lab.

The goal of the lab is tied to workforce development. By enhancing their skills, learners will be more likely to secure work, be successful in job training programs, and advance in the workplace.

There are 20 computer stations in the lab for learners to work on their lessons, with staff instructors and volunteers offering tutoring and assistance. In 2011, the lab served 326 individuals.

Each adult who participates in the lab is initially tested to assess his or her skills. Based on this assessment, an individualized learning plan is created for the participant to follow.

The lab is open 50 hours a week, Monday through Friday. See the current schedule for the Adult Learning Lab. The lab has an open access policy, enabling students to complete the program on their own time.

To learn more about the Adult Learning Lab, please email Tim McGorey or call him at 313-451-8056. 





  • Adult Learning Lab served 389 persons in 2012: 221 participated in GED; 168 in ESL; 10 gained employment
  • Many of the learners are participants in Detroit GreenWorks Solutions, the green jobs training program for Detroit residents
  • The lab is funded through a three-year grant of $100,000 a year from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG)
  • Funding is also provided through a $10,000 grant from Charter One Foundation and a $10,000 grant from First Independence Bank

The lab is a program of the Center for Working Families (CWF) based at Southwest Economic Solutions. The mission of CWF is to help low-income families reach financial stability, access income supports, develop educational and employment opportunities, build wealth, and move up the economic ladder.

Many partners are working with Southwest Solutions to provide services and support for the lab. These include Henry Ford Community College, The Greening of Detroit, WARM Training Center, Detroit Workforce Development Department, Madonna University Writing Center, University of Detroit Mercy Immigration Law Clinic, and Urban Neighborhood Initiatives.

The Learning Lab was awarded a Gannett Foundation Community Grant for the purchase of new English as Second Language instructional materials and to create a tutor recruitment and training program on May 25, 2012. These enhancements to the ESL program will allow the Learning Lab to increase the number of students and the quality of instruction. The grant is made possible through the Gannett Foundation, Detroit Media Partnership and the Detroit Free Press.


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