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Heartland builds ‘Bridge to the Workplace’ at Western Avenue Community Center

January 22, 2019

Heartland Community College is offering a new program to help Bloomington residents bolster language and technical skills needed for the workforce.

English as a Second Language (ESL) students can now enroll in the Bridge to Workplace Technology class at Western Avenue Community Center. The class focuses on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills as well as the development of computer skills.

“Reaching into the community with Adult Education programs puts us in touch with students who can’t make it to our campus,” said Kerry Urquizo, Director of Adult Education at Heartland. “Holding this program at Western Avenue Community Center removes that barrier for those looking to take that next step in developing the language and technical skills needed for the workplace.”

Yahaira Gonzalez, instructor for the Bridge to Workplace Technology class held at Western Avenue, started off in Heartland’s Functional English (FESL) and Academic English (AELP) programs.

“I had a great experience as an AELP student at Heartland and gained many skills to help me be successful,” said Gonzalez, who came to the United States in December of 2014 from Nicaragua. “I didn’t speak very much English before starting the program so I can understand how our students must feel. I want to show them that things can be difficult, but they can get there, as I did.”

Sessions of Bridge to Workplace classes began in January and students can join at any time. Classes are tuition-free.

Heartland offers a number of Adult Education programs that are designed to help students find a career pathway, including High School Equivalency, English language skills, reading skills and academic preparation.

Those looking for more information or to register for the Bridge to Workplace Technology or other Adult Education programs can contact the Heartland Adult Education office at 309-268-8180.

Written by: Steve Fast