Through its 2012-2016 strategic planning process, Community Action Southwest determined the best way for its clients to break the cycle of poverty is to help them transition to trade schools or colleges so they can improve their chances for higher-paying jobs. While this will mean clients may remain in poverty longer while they are enrolled in a trade school or college, the degree or certificate they earn will get them one-step closer to securing a job that can ultimately lead to self-sufficiency.

Residents can meet with staff members who will help them to:

  • Determine their course of study and appropriate school, complete enrollment and financial aid applications and counsel them (as needed) so they can succeed in school.
  • Succeed in school by referring residents (as needed) to the agency’s Adult Education Program who are in need of a GED or need some help preparing for entrance exams and/or succeeding with their school lessons.

The agency also features a workshop entitled, “Education Transition” that is designed to inform residents of their educational options. This workshop covers material including the different types of schools, how to navigate the application process and how to find quality financial assistance to help with the costs of tuition. The workshop lasts between 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Community Action Southwest receives a grant from the United Way of Washington County to operate a portion of this program.