June 2, 2017 - by Haley Carwile

WIOA-funded Title 1 program brings high school diploma and workforce certificate to high school dropouts as the first step toward careers in child care or transportation.

Southeast Los Angeles County residents now have access to an accredited high school diploma and workforce training through an online program offered by the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board (SELACO WDB) and ed2go’s Career Online High School. SELACO WDB is a community-based workforce and employment development agency that helps job seekers gain skills, training, and employment, while promoting the growth of the local economy.

In March 2017, the LA County Workforce Development System identified that out of 10.1 million residents living in the Los Angeles County area, age 25 or older, 14% do not possess a high school diploma. Many of these residents lack the basic skills necessary to seek and retain employment.

SELACO WDB, which serves approximately 3,000–4,000 residents per month, is the first California workforce development board to offer Career Online High School. The program is designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for post-secondary career education, additional workforce training credentials, and better job opportunities. The WIOA-funded, Title 1 program is free to residents, and offers an opportunity to earn an entry-level workforce certificate along with the high school diploma.

SELACO WDB is currently offering two career tracks through Career Online High School. Interested residents can choose to obtain an entry-level workforce certificate in Child Care or Commercial Driving. Both options include an industry-recognized certificate and an accredited high school diploma. Obtaining these credentials is the first step in entering a career in child care services or obtaining a commercial driver’s license. It’s anticipated that career options will expand as the program is established in the region.

“The high school dropout rate in this county is staggering, and has a huge social and economic impact on the community,” said Yolanda Castro, Executive Director of SELACO WDB. “We see this program as the first step to getting residents on the path to better jobs and higher earning potential. It supports our mission of supporting our citizens, the community, local businesses, and the county’s economy.”

“We are excited to offer this online high school diploma and career certificate through SELACO WDB,” stated Dr. Howard Liebman, Superintendent of the Career Online High School district. “Concurrently with the high school diploma, the program provides training that leads directly to additional workforce credentials. It thus aligns to the federal WIOA legislation and has been approved on California’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).”

SELACO WDB will award scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified residents 25 years and over who are looking to earn a high school diploma and advance their careers. All training costs for eligible customers will be covered by SELACO WDB. Students without their own computers will be able to use computers at SELACO WDB’s local America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC).

Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Students who have prior learning credits from other accredited schools can transfer in the coursework, expediting their path to completion.

About Career Online High School:
Career Online High School was developed in 2012 through a partnership by ed2go, a division of Cengage that provides students with online continuing education and career training, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Visit careeronlinehs.org for more information.

About SELACO:
The Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board (SELACO WDB) is a private non-profit organization established in 1983 under a joint power agreement between the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood and Norwalk. SELACO WDB is a member of the American Job Centers of California (AJCC) and currently operates two centers one in the City of Cerritos and the other in the City of Norwalk. Both AJCC’s are equipped with the resources necessary to assist local job seekers with skills development and job placement.

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