For over 40 years, Literacy Pittsburgh has been known locally as a provider of English language classes, basic literacy, and GED exam preparation for adults in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. As the organization has grown, so has our awareness of our students' needs outside the classroom. In 2022 Literacy Pittsburgh created the Workforce Development and Student Services departments to formalize how these needs are met.
Working with local employers and area workforce development boards, Literacy Pittsburgh has determined area employment needs and aligned those with student career interests to create programs that can help lead participants into meaningful careers that can benefit the local economy. Examples of these classes include one aimed at helping English language learners transition into environmental services jobs at local hospitals and a Microsoft Excel certification class to give participants the skills they need to flourish in an office environment. These new classes are offered alongside existing programs where Literacy Pittsburgh partners with local construction pre-apprentice programs to provide math and digital skills instruction. In addition to these free programs, the organization partners with local employers to provide upskilling for current employees. Over the past year, the workforce development team has fulfilled over 20 contracts providing workshops on cross-cultural communication, English classes with content focused on specific jobs, and digital skills classes tailored to individual workplaces.
The newly created Student Services department is geared towards providing one-on-one career exploration opportunities, barrier reduction, and workshops focusing on providing participants with the workplace skills they need to find and retain employment. In addition to providing this direct service to participants, the student services team has organized a career fair and community resource fair to highlight job opportunities and freely available resources in the area. To date, Student Services has reached over 400 students and continues looking for ways to connect with existing participants and grow its presence in the community so that more people are aware of the diverse range of services Literacy Pittsburgh offers.
Anyone interested in workforce classes, career services, or any other programs provided by Literacy Pittsburgh can sign up at literacypittsburgh.org or by calling 412-393-7600.
Literacy Pittsburgh (formerly Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council) helps create better lives through learning. Recognized as a national leader in adult and family literacy, Literacy Pittsburgh is the largest provider of adult basic education in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Last year, Literacy Pittsburgh helped some 3.700 individuals acquire the skills needed to reach their fullest potential in life and participate productively in their communities. Literacy Pittsburgh provides free, personalized instruction in workforce readiness, high school diploma test preparation, digital literacy, English language learning, math, reading, and family literacy through one-to-one and small class instruction. Founded in 1982, it serves local adults through numerous neighborhood locations and its Downtown Pittsburgh Learning Center.