A statewide commission has issued recommendations to address adult literacy in Georgia. This comes after a recent study found 1 in every 6 workers in the state is “low literate,” or can’t read well.
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That rate surprised Wendell Dallas, the vice president of operations for Atlanta Gas Light. Dallas is one of four co-chairs of the Georgia Literacy Commission.
“The thing we like to say a lot is we ‘home grow’ our [Atlanta Gas Light’s] talent,” Dallas said. “So, that means a lot of our employees come from our communities. So, that’s why we spend time focusing on education and workforce development.”
Dallas said as he traveled the state to meet with various stakeholders, he was surprised by the magnitude of the problem.
“When you speak of ‘low literacy’ and what literacy means … it was an eye-opener,” he said. “I think I had an impression before I became a co-chair of the commission … we just learned so much more about what this really entails.”
The commission’s recommendations include looking for private investment to create adult literacy programs, recruiting and training volunteers, partnering with housing authorities to offer wraparound services and expanding access to health care.
Dallas said the commission’s work has just begun. The group will continue to meet and work on solutions well into 2018 and beyond, he said.