New Adult Learning Lab Opens In Southwest Detroit

November 22nd, 2010
Tim McGorey, program manager of the Adult Learning Lab

Southwest Solutions is opening a new Adult Learning Lab in southwest Detroit to help adults improve their literacy, math and computer skills so they can be better qualified for employment.

The lab will start in January 2011. It is one of ten 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 will provide GED preparation, English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and educational support for those entering college who need remedial help. These services are free for eligible participants.

There are 20 computer stations in the lab for learners to work on their lessons, with staff instructors and volunteers offering tutoring and assistance. The lab expects to serve about 300 people a year.

“The goal of the lab is tied to workforce development,” says Tim McGorey, its program manager, who has 20 years of experience in adult education. “By enhancing their skills, learners will be more likely to secure work, be successful in job training programs, and advance in the workplace.”

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

The lab is funded through a three-year grant of $100,000 a year from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

The lab is a program of the Center for Working Families (CWF) based at Southwest Solutions’ Housing Opportunity Center. 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.

“The new lab is part of a comprehensive approach to help families and the community become more economically stable and prosperous,” says Linda West, who directs the CWF. “Learners at the lab will be referred to other programs and services to address their other needs and improve their chances of success.”

It is expected that many of the learners will be participants in Detroit GreenWorks Solutions, the green jobs training program for southwest Detroit residents that is also based at Southwest Solutions’ CWF.

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, DELEG, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Public Library, and other community organizations and academic institutions.

The lab will open 40 hours a week, including some Saturdays and evenings. For more information about the Adult Learning Lab, please contact Tim McGorey at tmcgorey@swsol.org or 313-451-8056.

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