Walker County Certified Work Ready Grant Program Offers Residents New Tools For Improving Literacy & Work Skills

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Walker County residents seeking to improve their literacy or work skills are encouraged to check out new software and books available at the local technical college and public libraries.

Walker County received a $10,000 Certified Work Ready grant through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to boost literacy and high school graduation rates, to support workforce development and to strengthen ties with local chambers and businesses by solidifying their support of the Georgia Work Ready Program.  Funds were used to purchase software and books such as GED study guides, ACT and SAT study guides, practice test software and software that helps unemployed residents bridge the gaps in their education to equip them better when re-entering the job market. 

Plato software’s “greatest contribution to the literacy program is that it reaches down to the very low functioning student with 21st Century technology,” said Susan Hackney, vice president of adult education for Georgia Northwestern Technical College, or GWNTC. The software is available through the adult education program GNWTC’s Rock Spring campus.

“Plato software provides the greatest depth and breadth of curriculum offerings for basic skills and secondary education skills leading into GED graduation and postsecondary transitions of any product we have examined,” she said. “The content covers grade levels approximately second grade through postsecondary, which makes it appropriate for the wide range of skills that adult education students have when they enter our classrooms.” 

Plato’s content can be tailored into targeted instruction for important tests, such as the GED, TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), COMPASS (the entrance exam for Georgia Northwestern), other college entrance exams, WorkKeys and the ASVAB, the entrance exam for the U.S. Armed Services, she said.

With the grant, GNWTC purchased 24 licenses for the software, which automatically constructs a sequence of lessons based on the ability level of students, or instructor can manipulate it to meet specific needs that change constantly with each new student group at the college, she said.  Plato tracks student progress and creates reports to assist instructors in giving positive feedback to students; the software also has built in motivational prompts.

The Cherokee Regional Library System acquired two new online resources with grant funds, which will be available at the branches in Chickamauga, LaFayette and Rossville. 

“Cypress Resume is an online service that takes users step-by-step through the resume writing process,” said Chelsea Kovalevskiy, youth education coordinator for the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library. “The service has resume templates for hundreds of different professions.

“Users search through the database to select the profession for which they are applying, and the end result is a personalized, professional resume written entirely by the Cypress Resume service,” Ms. Kovalevskiy said.  “The service can be accessed for free from any computer with an Internet connection.”

The LearningExpress Library is an online learning platform that has helped millions of library patrons and students prepare for a wide range of career-oriented licensing and certification exams in health care, education, civil service, homeland security and much more, she said.

LearningExpress also has interactive tutorials to help users improve basic skills in reading, writing and math, as well as prepare for tests such as the GED, ACT and SAT.

“The innovative platform includes self-paced interactive study, instant scoring and diagnostic feedback, and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection,” she said. “This platform will be an excellent resource for students of all ages, tutoring services, GED instructors, homeschool families and much more.”

Each library branch also purchased print books to supplement the youth literature department, a set of college financial aid books for reference and ACT, SAT and GED preparation books, she said.

Chickamauga library purchased books missing from its classic literature section, while Rossville purchased Georgia Peach Award selections, she said.  LaFayette purchased books from the Georgia Peach Award and much needed copies of books that are required reading for LaFayette High School students.

Seven Walker County residents received scholarships to cover the cost for their GED testing with grant funds. 

The Walker County Certified Work Ready team members were Rhonda Beasley, Roper Corp.; Judy Holcomb, Georgia Department of Labor LaFayette office; Stephanie Snodgrass, Walker County Chamber of Commerce; and team leader Catherine Edgemon, City of LaFayette.

 


Nominations Now Open For The 2015 Latino Leadership Awards

The 2015 Latino Leadership Awards will be held on September 21 at the Downtown Chattanooga Mariott.The La Paz Chattanooga Latino Leadership Awards banquet is an annual celebration that honors the contributions area Latino leaders are making across the Chattanooga community. At the event, attendees will recognize 10 extraordinary local leaders for their work and service throughout ... (click for more)

Nine Chattanooga Area Allstate Agency Owners Earn Prestigious Designations

As business leaders and involved citizens in the Chattanooga area, nine Allstate agents earned the Allstate Premier Agency Designation for 2015. The Premier Agency designation is awarded to Allstate agency owners who have demonstrated excellence in delivering an accessible, knowledgeable and personal customer experience while achieving outstanding business results. The designation ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Rejects 10-Cent Tax Rise For Lake Forest MS; Firefighters Get $3,000 Raise

With a small crowd of demonstrators sitting in the back of the room with signs that read, “Vote no on property tax increase,” the Bradley County Commission on Monday night finally rejected a proposed 10-cent property tax increase that would have added funds to the construction of a new academic building at Lake Forest Middle School.   Funding for renovations at ... (click for more)

11 Attorneys Apply In 2nd Round For Replacing Judge Stern

Eleven attorneys have applied in the second round of applications to replace Rebecca Stern as judge of Criminal Court's Division II. The applicants are: Christian J. Coder Chattanooga Tracy Cox Signal Mountain Amanda B. Dunn Chattanooga Ardena Juanita Garth Chattanooga Thomas Clifton Greenholtz Ooltewah Andrea DeFay Hayduk ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hay Fields Of July

Oh my goodness, July has just arrived and during my formative years, it was the most hated month of the year. When I was 12 years old, my wonderful grandfather decreed the days of begging for money to go to the picture show and burgers at the Krystal were over, that I was on the payroll for a dollar an hour and, in our family, folks worked for what they spent. Now my grandfather, ... (click for more)