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ELATED Grant Aims to Raise Employment Prospects of Residents in Need
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – A large grant will help Portland Community College use technology to enhance the English language skills and employment prospects of residents in the Portland metro area.PCC received a one-year, $205,018 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the English Language Acquisition-Technology Enriched Delivery (ELATED) project. It will focus on residents in three economically distressed areas of north and outer southeast Portland, and western Washington County. The grant will provide 200 people currently on PCC’s English as a second language waiting list with opportunities to build their English skills on self-paced ESL computer software. An additional 200 students enrolled in college ESL programs will use the software for their classes.The need is there, says PCC grant manager Kristin Watkins."The number of residents in the ELATED target areas who do not speak English well has increased dramatically,"she said. "Additionally, nearly one-fourth of the residents in the target areas do not have high school diplomas."The program will also provide students with the skills and resources to help them find employment. It will train more than 100 English-language instructors on how to use the technology in their instruction. The project will run until Sept. 30, 2003."We believe that this grant will allow us to expand access for two groups of ESL students,"said Terri Greenfield, dean of Adult Basic Education. "The first, the students currently enrolled in ESL classes who are in need of additional support for language acquisition, and also those on waiting lists for language services that access ELATED labs while waiting for admission to an ESL program."Project services will be located at the Southeast Center (2850 S.E. 82nd Ave.), PCC’s One Stop at the Housing Authority of Portland’s Goalpost Center in Columbia Villa (8932 N. Woolsey Ave.), and Forest Grove High School (1401 Nichols Lane). The ELATED program is a collaboration of PCC programs, the Housing Authority of Portland and Forest Grove High School.PCC will serve approximately 100,000 part- and full-time students annually in a wide variety of programs this year. The college boasts three comprehensive campuses, four workforce training centers and approximately 200 community locations throughout its five-county district.For more information, contact Terri Greenfield at 503-788-6220.