Let’s make this the mantra of our recession: “Losing my job was the best thing I’ve ever done.” I will never forget this comment from one of my first students to earn her GED. After quitting her job at a deli she got married, earned a driver’s license, and got her GED.
The Department of Labor has announced the dollars to be spent in workforce development and training programs. This is good news for our GED students who wonder if they will able to pay for an education or training. These funds will be available to individuals through the national network of One-Stop Career Centers. The goal is for the Workforce Investment Act money to support training for unfilled and emerging jobs, which is great news for those interested in health care or green collar jobs.
This news is great for those with a high school diploma, but what about our ABE/ESOL/GED students? They are not yet eligible for these funds. Still, my hope is for our country to see this economic implosion as an opportunity for advancement. My dream is for us to come out of this recession more educated than when we entered. (And hopefully, become better critical thinkers, especially about things as important as our mortgages and investments) Let’s support the least educated, the marginally employable, and give them the access and skills they need to take advantage of this moment of opportunity.