DCLC News & Notes
January/February 2021............. In this issue...
  • DCLC's Back-to-Work Program Assists Mature Job Seekers
  • DCLC News: DCLC Staff Starts Systemic Racism Learning Group
  • Fact to Share: Literacy Programs Help Fill Gaps in Job Market
DCLC's Back-to-Work Program
Assists Mature Job Seekers
Looking for work can be challenging in the best of times. With so many businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating the current job market can seem positively overwhelming.

DCLC is here to help. DCLC’s Back-to-Work Program assists Delaware County adults age 40 or older who are looking for full-time work, at no cost to them. The Back-to-Work Program is open to all Delaware County residents age 40 and over.
Participants in the Back-to-Work Program get personalized support and guidance from Employment Coach Elaine Herbert (shown at left) to help them find a full-time position. Elaine recently helped a job seeker in her mid-fifties who was facing unemployment for the first time in over 20 years.

The job seeker discovered that she had to relearn how to look for a job. “I had not worked on a resume in over 20 years. The whole resume, job seeking, and interviewing process was different from anything I remembered,” she explained.
With persistence and expert assistance from Elaine, however, this job seeker landed a customer-service position that built on skills she used early in her working life. She readily acknowledged the support she received from the Back-to-Work program. “I appreciated Elaine walking with me and encouraging me every step of the way,” she proclaimed.

Delaware County adults interested in DCLC’s Back-to-Work Program can contact Elaine at [email protected] or 484-461-2144, ext. 103, or they can complete this online interest form. COVID-19 precautions are observed during all Back-to-Work interactions.
DCLC News: DCLC Starts Learning Group
to Address Impact of Systemic Racism
On June 18, 2020, Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) released a public statement, Black Lives Matter to DCLC, which made clear that many of DCLC's adult students "have had their opportunities, their safety, and their health undercut by systemic racism." The statement included specific actions DCLC has committed to taking to address systemic racism and its effects.

To make sure DCLC lives up to this commitment, members of DCLC's staff formed a "Systemic Racism Learning Group." The group meets monthly to study systemic racism and to coordinate the steps DCLC is taking in response to racial inequities that affect our organization, our students, and our community.

According to Duane Belgrave, Sr., an instructor at DCLC involved in putting together the Learning Group, "This is an opportunity to be explicit, intentional, and transparent in how we want to address systemic racism and empower our students."

To learn more about the effects of systemic racism, the Learning Group has invited community speakers to give virtual presentations on topics from mass incarceration to white fragility. Within the Learning Group, smaller "actionable goal" groups meet to plan DCLC's action steps.

For example, one actionable-goal group has identified curricular resources on systemic racism that can be used by DCLC teachers and tutors. Teachers are currently incorporating some of these resources in project-based lessons on redlining, racism within federal institutions, "sundown towns," and similar topics. A training on these resources will be offered to DCLC teachers and tutors in the months ahead.

Other projects by actionable-goal groups include creating community partnerships, organizing presentations to help DCLC students navigate societal systems, and holding an essay contest to allow DCLC students to express themselves on the topic of racial justice.

With these measures, the DCLC staff is attempting to make long-term changes within the organization.

As Duane Belgrave, Sr., explains, “We are realizing that systemic racism is so deep. This is a lifelong endeavor. We work on systemic racism today because we care about creating a better future.”
Fact to Share: Adult Literacy Programs
Can Help Fill High-Skill Jobs of the Future
By 2024, 48 percent of job openings in the U.S. will be middle-skill and 32 percent will be high-skill. This means that in a few short years, nearly 80 percent of all job openings will require more than a high school degree. Adult education programs like Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) provide a significant opportunity to bridge the workforce supply-and-demand gap. By educating immigrants and adults who haven't finished high school, adult education programs prepare adults to move on to the post-secondary education needed for these high-skill positions. Read more about these statistics, which are provided by the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE).