Education is the door to opportunity for all people. Thirty three years of my professional life were in education, writing grants and developing and implementing programs that trained workers. I helped students transfer to four year degrees, providing all the support services they needed to graduate college and to find employment.
Employment and training programs provide job skills and graduate productive, tax paying citizens. My family is proof of the effectiveness of such programs. My mother was a single parent of two small children without a high school diploma and no formal skills training. She cleaned homes and took in laundry to put food on our table. In the mid-60’s, through the Manpower Demonstration Program, she graduated as a licensed cosmetologist, went on to open her own small business, and also earned her GED. At the same time, my widowed aunt with two small daughters did the same type of work to earn a living. She completed her nursing degree and served as a public health nurse, retiring in her late sixties. In the late 1970’s I found myself in a situation without a college degree and no marketable technical skills. The Comprehensive Employment Training Act put me to work as a social work associate while I completed my college degree. I later worked as an employment specialist, putting people to work in the same kind of programs that had helped me and my family.