It is ready, willing and ABLE

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

Enabling people to reach their goals is the goal of this aptly-named program.

ABLE, Adult Basic and Literacy Education, is a free program offered by three centers in the area: The Workforce Development Resource Center (WDRC) in Ironton, the Collins Career Center in Getaway and the Chesapeake Community Center. The Ironton location opened for new classes last Monday, while the Getaway and Chesapeake locations are scheduled to open today.

"It (ABLE) is an avenue for individuals in the county, that for whatever reason, have not been able to get their high school diploma," Steve Dodgion, superintendent of Collins Career Center, said. "It's an avenue for them to get credentialed with the GED so they can enter the workforce."

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Students can get help with basic reading, writing and math skills, Dodgion said. The program is designed to help adults overcome the obstacles standing in their way to a better job or entrance into college or vocational training.

Home-schooled students can also utilize ABLE to receive a GED in lieu of a standard high school diploma. But regardless of background, ABLE can help people with the challenge presented by the test.

"The GED exam is a little more difficult than it used to be and it takes a lot of preparation," Dodgion said.

ABLE has reached about 300 to 400 students a year in the past, Sondra Andrews, director of Adult Basic Education at WDRC, said. Although classes are just now starting at the three area centers, Andrews said this year seems promising.

"We're really pleased with the response thus far," Andrews said.

Plans are in the works for extending the classes offered to include more workplace literacy and English as a second language, Andrews said. The facility already does some workplace literacy, but more funding is needed before the program can expand.

Until then, ABLE will continue to reach out to the community to help people realize their full potential.

"We just want to serve everyone," Dodgion said. "We want everyone to feel comfortable about coming in there for this trainingŠand we want to get a good pass rate on the GED."

The WDRC is planning an ABLE open house in November, Andrews said. For more information, call 532-3140.


Monday-Thursday: 8:30-4:30 (Workforce Development Resource Center)

Monday-Thursday: 3:00-9:00 (Collins Career Center)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday: 3:30-7:00 (Chesapeake Community Center)