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Wood County Adult Learning Center moves

PARKERSBURG — After a one-year stay on Market Street, the Wood County Adult Learning Center relocated to the sixth floor of St. Joseph’s landing at 600 18th St. over the summer.

Combining the two previous locations known as Lincoln and Lakeview Adult Learning Center in the summer of 2019, the center had to move to St. Joes when WorkForce also moved into the building earlier in the year.

Offering free educational opportunities to adult learners and being partners with WorkForce, the center has to be in the same location as the office, under the WorkForce Innovation Opportunity Act.

“Deanna (Addis) and I have been together for seven years and Tanner (Hunter) just worked at a different location. Last year, we came together at Market Street and the three of us just want to stay together,” said Melissa Everly, ESL/Literacy instructor. “This is a brand new location for us. We were down at the Lakeview center for 20 years. Prior to that, we had been at the Boys and Girls Club and we were on Market Street for just a year. So this is only the first year that we’ve been here. They opened up July 1 and we want people to know that we’re here.”

Sharing the location with the learning center for the past year, the MOV Adult Education & SPOKES is a similar program located at 916 Market St. It is a blended classroom program that combines both Adult Education and SPOKES, which is an academic and job preparation skills program in which participants must be referred by their WV WORKS case manager through the DHHR.

“We do SPOKES class as a career development class. We’re a program that’s about 10 weeks long, and we offer all kinds of life skills modules. We offer many of the computer programs that the adult education program offers too,” MOV Adult Ed instructor Susan Ellison said. “So we are just another opportunity for community members to come in and take advantage of free classes. Anything from high school equivalencies, all the way up to Microsoft Office specialist.”

According to MOV Adult Ed instructor Wendy Mick they are more focused on individualizing lessons, compared to the learning center’s more classroom-oriented lessons.

“I feel like our program is just a little bit smaller. So because it’s smaller, we’re able to do more one on one. Because of COVID right now, we’re trying to get in the habit of scheduling the same group of students at the same time,” Mick said. “But because there are usually maybe four or five people at a time. It’s just easier to sit down and work with one individual because they might be a little bit lower level than the other two people.”

In addition to high school equivalency preparation, both programs offer certifications and certificates that enhance job seeking and employability skills. Examples include Microsoft Office Specialist (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) certifications, Customer Service, CPR & First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, and basic computer skills.

Both programs will work within the student’s skill set, allowing them to go at their own pace by passing one subject at a time with no graduation date deadline.

“We can let you pass one subject at a time. So like if a person is really good at reading. We can get through reading lessons really fast and that goes for other subjects too, like science and social studies,” AE instructor Tanner Hunter said. “That means hopefully they can just focus on their weakest areas as long as they need to.”

“So Tanner and I, we do high school equivalency, but also we offer a lot of different credentials and certifications to help people get back into the workforce, or to enter the workforce. A lot of times Tanner and I see people that have never had a job,” AE Instructor Deanna Addis said. “We try to push them into either entering the workforce or post-secondary training. Just to give them the skill so that they’ll be successful once they leave here.”

The learning center also offers English as a second language and literacy classes. English as a second language is available for non-native English-speaking adults classes and is taught by Everly.

All classes and certifications offered by both locations are free. Many distance education and virtual learning opportunities are also available at no cost for those who are unable to attend during class hours or due to the ongoing pandemic. Along with offering free parking to students, the new location can also be available through the bus.

For more information, contact the Adult Learning Center by calling (304) 834-1019, and for MOV Adult Education at (304) 917-3556 or by emailing movadulted@gmail.com

Tyler Bennett can be reached at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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