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Parkland College SWFT and Adult Education Center Open House

Parkland College SWFT and Adult Education Center Open House

Visit the Parkland College SWFT/Adult Ed. Center Open House on April 25

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Parkland College invites community members to an open house celebrating the new Support for Workforce Training (SWFT) and Adult Education Center.

The SWFT and Adult Education Center Open House will be held on Monday, April 25 from 3-5 p.m. in the new center, room D120. Guests are invited to drop in to tour the new SWFT and Adult Education space and learn more about the programs. At 3:30 p.m., SWFT and Adult Education directors, current students, Executive Vice President Pam Lau, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs Stephanie Stuart, and State Rep. Carol Ammons will give remarks.

With Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) grant funds, the college has been able to expand and equip a new space for the SWFT program. The space will be co-located with Parkland's Adult Education department, with the aim to provide Adult Education learners access to more career opportunities.

"Thanks to the support of the WEI, we have been able to create a dedicated career suite to prepare our SWFT-funded students for employment," said SWFT Director Alicia Beck. "Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, this flexible learning space is already hosting weekly employment skills classes, mock interviews, and regular meetings with staff and students. We look forward to incorporating new program as the use of the space evolves."

Backed by a $1.2 million Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) grant, Parkland's SWFT program aims to help more than 130 district residents move into high-demand careers with family-sustaining wages within a year or less. The WEI grant aims address historic underrepresentation of African Americans in high-demand, high-wage careers, thus requiring African Americans to comprise 60 percent of the population served by the SWFT program. 

The initiative was spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus with strong support from State Rep. Carol Ammons.

Adult Education Associate Dean Tawanna Nickens is optimistic about the merger and the ability to help more students. "The co-location of Adult Education and SWFT streamlines resources and supports for adults as they transition to short-term career training programs at Parkland."

Parkland College's Adult Education department provides free classes, mentorship, tutoring, and career pathways for adults with little or no college or technical education. This can include English Second Language, college prep, basic skills, and high school equivalency classes. The program is funded by Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

More information about the SWFT program can be found at parkland.edu/SWFT; information about Parkland College Adult Education can be found at parkland.edu/adulteducation.

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