(Ellijay, Ga. – Sept. 15, 2016)
When 30 percent of its adult population lacked a high school diploma, one community in North Georgia stepped up to the plate to tackle its adult illiteracy issues.
Chattahoochee Technical College’s Office of Adult Education, in a collaboration with the Northwest GA Regional Commission, also joined the fight, and, in less than two years, the number of adults in Gilmer County without a high school diploma has dropped from 30 percent to 22.8 percent.
“Our Adult Education program has enhanced economic development and workforce development in Gilmer County by educating citizens, helping them to get their GED, and transitioning them into college and career pathways which allows them to become productive citizens in their community,” said CTC Executive Director for Adult Education Tamika Phillips.
Chattahoochee Technical College’s Office of Adult Education program values education and exists to change lives. In February 2015, the program was given a little boost to help fulfill its mission after being awarded the Literacy to Work grant. Students enrolled in the college’s Literacy to Work classes became eligible for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding, which is designed to strengthen and improve the nation’s public workforce system.
“WIOA funding assisted students with childcare, transportation, etc. It really helped eliminate some of the barriers students had that may have prevented them from completing the program,” Phillips said.
The community also rallied behind its residents, and with an in-kind donation from Highland Rivers Health and Judge Brenda Weaver with the Appalachian Drug Court, the college was able to move its learning center to a new location in Cherry Log, giving residents in Gilmer County more options for GED prep classes.
“If Gilmer County residents are in the southern part of the county, they can attend the Appalachian Campus or, if they choose, they can attend our newest location,” Phillips said. “In addition, moving the learning center to its new location has strengthened our partnership with the Drug Court because now we can provide on-site classes for those students who were traveling to class.”
The college offers GED prep classes for Gilmer and Jasper residents at its learning center in Cherry Log located at 18090 Highway 515, and Chattahoochee Tech’s Appalachian Campus, located at 100 Campus Drive in Jasper.