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National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

Recognition of need for adult basic skills training, Sept. 18-24

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, Sept. 18–24, underscores the continued demand for programs and services for adult students who need to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math and obtain a high school equivalency certificate. More than 36 million adults nationwide, including 1.2 million in Illinois, lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work.   Parkland College is one of 72 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) that improve and expand the nation's available pipeline of workers by assisting those who lack the educational requirements to achieve gainful employment in today's increasingly high-tech, global job market.    "Adult literacy is so important for the District 505 workforce, and Parkland College rises to fill the need as a workforce partner by training more than 400 adult students from District 505 in basic reading and math annually," said Tawanna Nickens, associate dean of Parkland Adult Education.      Adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to middle-class wages and increased family sustainability. Full-time workers with a high school diploma earn almost $10,000 more per year than those without a diploma.   Parkland also offers flexible English as a Second Language classes (ESL), High School Equivalency test prep instruction, a program for out-of-school youth ages 16-24, and career bridge classes in health care, manufacturing, business management and information technology. Online and in-person class options are available.   "Illinois community colleges are the driver for a trained workforce working with nearly 10,000 unique employers across the state," said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham. "With nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs in our state requiring education beyond a high school diploma, the Illinois Community College System is the ideal place for getting on a path to a good paying career." In recognition of National Adult Education and Literacy Week, Parkland College invites the public to visit its Adult Education offices in D120 at the campus during business hours to learn more about the programs offered. For more information about adult education programs and services at Parkland College, visit or email For information on adult education throughout Illinois, visit

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