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Community Leaders Discuss County Literacy Needs

Submitted Article

OSWEGO, NY – Did you know that 43% of Oswego County adults have low literacy skills? Did you know that less than 2% are in education programs?

Research shows that 50% of children who have parents with low literacy face the same fate.

Community leaders met recently to talk about the importance of literacy.

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church called together people from business, local and state government, human service agencies, literacy providers and workforce development.

Out of school youth and low literate adults are the resource, the pipeline, into our workplaces.

We also know that the jobs that will pay a living wage in the future require more than a high school diploma; six of the 10 fastest growing occupations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor in its employment projections through 2012 require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

We are interested in impacting our community at all levels and believe that improving literacy is a means of improving the quality of life for all.

Therefore, a county-wide literacy coalition is being formed.

The coalition will soon begin an extensive planning process to bring about fundamental, systemic changes in the way literacy services are provided in Oswego County.

Coalition membership will come from businesses large and small, government, civic organizations, not-for-profit agencies, faith communities, education and active citizens, and adult learners.

Funding is being sought to hire Literacy Powerline, a national consulting firm.  Literacy Powerline will provide assessment and analysis to help the coalition develop recommendations and strategies for the county-wide plan.

These collaborative efforts are a new attempt to bring together the wisdom of the community and to leverage our strengths as we compete for resources with larger markets.

If you are interested in more information or supporting the coalition, contact Jane Murphy, Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, at 342-8839.