Dallas Community College District Program Offers Free Classes to Adult Residents in South Dallas

Under a new partnership, the Dallas Community College District will offer free classes to South Dallas residents at the Richland and El Centro colleges to give working adults a second chance at getting a postsecondary education.

“We wanted our residents with whom we work to begin to acquire the different skills that could lead them to a given career,” said Diane Ragsdale with the Inner City Development Corporation.

This program, Work Ready U, is the first of its kind in the South Dallas area. Work Ready U is a collaboration between the Inner City Development Corporation and the Dallas Community College District.

Work Ready U will offer free GED, ESL and courses such as welding and health care to South Dallas residents who qualify, according to FOX News 4.

South Dallas residents are eligible to enroll courses provided in the program if they are at least 16 years old and are unable to read, write and/or speak English or are at least 18 years old and cannot pass one or more parts of the Texas Success Initiative Assessment.

The program will also teach adult students skills needed for college or career success, such as improving basic skills, improving workforce skills, how to prepare to take the GED and how to quickly train for a new job.

“So this is why it’s so exciting to have this educational center located in this community in this neighborhood,” said Diana Flores, the chair for the Dallas Community College District Trustee Board.

Classes will take place at the South Dallas training center, an area that may sometimes be overlooked, during evenings and weekends. The length to finish the program varies depending on the career pathway a student selects, but most students finish training in 6-12 months, according to the Work Ready U website.

“What we wanted to do is to provide a community-based work training program in the heart of a disenfranchised neighborhood within mill city neighborhood,” Ragsdale said.

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