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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Denise Cabanilla, Imperial County Office of Education


Consortium increases focus on employability skills

  • Type of Practice: Supportive Services
  • Targeted Population: English Language Learners, High School Equivalency Students
  • Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education, English as a Second Language & Citizenship
  • Consortia Involved:
    Imperial County Adult Education Consortium: Brawley Union High School District, Calexico Unified School District, Central Union High School District, Holtville Unified School District, Imperial Community College District, Imperial Unified School District, San Pasqual Valley Unified School District

The Challenge

The Imperial County Adult Education Consortium serves Imperial County, a region on the border of Mexico that is comprised of many small, rural communities whose residents face barriers that hinder success. Many are English-language learners, come from low-income communities and have limited employability skills. The county’s unemployment rate is high, though residents are thirsty for gaining employability skills, as are employers, who want to hire highly skilled employees who also possess critical soft skills. With the inception of Assembly Bill 86, the adult education community has come together collaboratively to remove obstacles to employment.

The Solution

To address the challenge, the consortium has invested time and funding into increasing services focused on providing adult learners with programs, and support, that lead to employability. The consortium used the AEBG funds to hire two student success specialists (SSS) via a contract with Imperial Valley College. The specialists developed pre-employment work-readiness workshops that taught adults how to develop a professional portfolio, craft a résumé and cover letter, seek employment, complete a job application and prepare for job interviews. The workshops, which were three hours long, were delivered in English as a second language (ESL) and high school equivalency/GED classes over a five-day period.

Outcomes

To address the challenge, the consortium has invested time and funding into increasing services focused on providing adult learners with programs, and support, that lead to employability. The consortium used the AEBG funds to hire two student success specialists (SSS) via a contract with Imperial Valley College. The specialists developed pre-employment work-readiness workshops that taught adults how to develop a professional portfolio, craft a résumé and cover letter, seek employment, complete a job application and prepare for job interviews. The workshops, which were three hours long, were delivered in English as a second language (ESL) and high school equivalency/GED classes over a five-day period.

The Data

The consortium continues to hold the workshop, which students take at least once during their time in adult education program. As of August 2017, a total of 1,060 AEBG adult education students have completed the five-day workshop sessions, which are ongoing in Imperial County adult education schools.


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