Why Partnering Tutoring with Youth Workforce Development Activities Makes Sense

Youth and young adults can improve employment outlooks by participating in WIA-funded tutoring programs.

The Workforce Development Act (WIA) provides job training funding to states and local communities. Nearly all communities allocate funds for both adults and youth. At-risk youth, including those aging out of foster care, in juvenile detention facilities, or living in shelters, often qualify for services.
Tutoring is one of the primary elements of WIA-funded workforce development programs for youth. In addition to study skills training and dropout prevention activities, tutoring ensures youth have the basic skills needed to secure and keep a job upon graduation. Tutors serve as teachers, mentors, and coaches to youth participating in WIA programs.

Understanding Literacy and Numeracy

When you cannot read, write, or perform basic mathematical functions, your chances of securing a job decreases dramatically. Literacy is defined as the ability of an individual to read or write. Generally, it encompasses your critical thinking skills, ability to speak well, and even listening skills. These, in turn, determine your presentation skills. Numeracy is your understanding of numbers and how to use them properly when solving mathematical-based problems.

Literacy and Numeracy Needed at Work

Many youth eligible for WIA services do not have the basic skills needed to get or keep a job. Workforce illiteracy is a growing concern for businesses. It affects every aspect of our economy. It is one of the reasons businesses turn to outsourcing to get critical jobs completed. All employers demand literacy and numeracy in employees. The exact type and level of literacy and numeracy skills needed vary depending on the workplace and business. However, common skills required by employers include:
• Writing grammatically-correct emails
• Taking proper notes quickly
• Reading instructions and safety notices
• Understanding workplace procedures
• Participating in or leading meetings
• Giving public presentations
• Counting change for a customer
• Using percentages for discounts
• Managing inventory
• Interpreting and applying statistical information

Most jobs require you to have at least one of these skills, though the vast majority mandate employees have multiple skills to be valuable. Even if you decide to pursue a job in a trade industry, you will need strong and proven math skills.

Role of Tutoring Services

You can bring your literacy and numeracy skills up to par with the help of quality tutoring services. You must work with a qualified WIA-approved tutoring agency. Tutors at these agencies have the experience to help youth and young adults strengthen literacy and numeracy skills. Curriculum is appropriate for older students who need pre-GED tutoring. For students who have dropped out of school, you can get the education you need to pass the GED exam.

Finding the right tutoring service for you is important. You want one with interesting and inspiring tutors who provide encouragement and support as you progress through the WIA program. Once you find a tutoring agency that suits your purposes, you will be on your way to building skills for a positive future.