Re-imagining workforce training, through a family lens
In his work with adult basic education students, Miguel Brambila, M.S., CFLE, recognized that family issues and events could significantly influence his clients’ success in learning and completing program goals they had set.
“It was a new concept, but I wanted to include practices from family education as part of adult education and workforce skills training,” says Miguel, the family literacy program manager at the Wilkinson Center, a community outreach agency in Dallas that provides work-readiness services such as ESL classes and job search help. “I knew that if we could help keep family crises from happening, that we could accomplish more in developing skills and setting goals."
Applying the ideas and resources he acquired through his family science and family life education backgrounds, he integrated family classes and involvement into the educational program. The new emphasis on family finances, parenting challenges, and relationship issues also fit with the center’s mission of helping people in poverty get past barriers.
"Spouses and kids are part of the program; they know that the family class is one of the sessions each week," Miguel says. “We set goals for all cases so that as individuals and as families they think in terms of becoming more successful in everything they do."
While the primary mission of Miguel's work might be to prepare individuals for work, "a person is still part of a family," Miguel says, “and that part must be addressed."