Laid-off workers seek GEDs

Laid-off workers are flooding literacy programs, reports NPR.

Callers are inundating literacy agencies because they realize they can’t compete in this difficult job market without a GED. At the same time, many of those callers are forced to recognize and admit their inability to read simple documents, including a job application.

In Tennessee, a laid-off factory worker who dropped out 20 years ago as an 18-year-old 10th grader dreams of qualifying as a welder, but needs reading and math skills.

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  1. Literacy, literacy, literacy. It’s all about the literacy.

  2. Cardinal Fang says:

    And the literacy programs don’t always have enough tutors. So, those of you who have a little time and want to help, consider volunteering.

  3. Are there really that many functionally illiterate adults in the U.S.? How is that possible when the literacy rate is (officially) 99%?

    And how did they survive into adulthood without being able to read basic documents and signs? That’s pretty amazing.

    Also, I’ve always wondered what the world was like for functionally illiterate adults. Reading anything I see, the moment I see it, is something that I guess I just take for granted…

  4. Cardinal Fang says:

    The official literacy rate is not the real literacy rate, that’s how. I don’t know what the functional illiteracy rate is, and it depends how one counts, but I think twenty or twenty-five percent is a reasonable guess. Obviously being illiterate is an enormous handicap, but it’s astonishing how well people can hide it.

    If you want to know what it’s like to be illiterate, go to China. Unless you can read Chinese, you won’t be able to read anything.