New online program aims to help adults ‘achieve the American dream’

The United Way of the City of Palm Beach has partnered with a Washington DC-based non-profit organization to help Palm Beach County residents gain job and job skills.

Through the American Dream Academya new online learning program offered by the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dreamadults can learn the skills they need to fill in-demand jobs or further their education.

The free six-month program offers courses created by companies such as IBM, Meta, Google, and Salesforce that provide certificates for jobs in data analytics, IT support, cybersecurity, project management, operations and development of digital social media sales and marketing. .

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The program also offers participants the opportunity to hone important workplace and leadership skills such as communication, problem solving and technical support.

Courses offered by the program are pre-approved for college credit.

“Through the American Dream Academy, we want to provide people with the skills and tools to increase their chances of obtaining better, better paying jobs and to remove barriers to achieving their American Dream,” said Dr. Kerry Healey, president of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.

In Palm Beach County, 12% of 552,286 households live in poverty and 34% earn more than the federal poverty level but less than the basic cost of living, also known as ALICE households (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), according to the Florida United for Alice 2020 report.

According to the report, a single adult living in Palm Beach County with a childcare dependent would need to earn $52,152 a year, or $26.08 an hour, to earn enough to cover the minimum cost. to live and work in the modern economy.

The Florida minimum wage is $10 an hour.

The City of Palm Beach United Way has partnered with the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream to provide residents of Palm Beach County with access to free online education and high-quality credentials that will prepare youth from underserved communities and underemployed workers and those without college. degrees to access high-growth digital jobs, said Beth Walton, CEO of Town of Palm Beach United Way.

“This is a special opportunity that we encourage all residents of Palm Beach County to take advantage of, regardless of employment status, age, education or career goals,” Walton said. “It’s an open, win-win program, and essential in today’s economy.

“People with post-secondary degrees and certifications are more likely to participate in the labor market and earn higher wages. They are also more likely to have access to safer housing, healthier food and better medical care.

The American Dream Academy is open to job seekers who are 18 years of age or older and fluent in English. hold a high school diploma or equivalent; are a resident of the United States with valid government-issued identification; and can dedicate approximately 5-10 hours per week to complete the six-month program.

Registration began May 1 and will continue until all spots are filled. About 200,000 scholarships across the United States are available, according to the City of Palm Beach United Way. To date, nearly 9,700 have been filled.

Participants can start classes as soon as they register.

For information or to register, visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org/american-dream-academy or call 561-655-1919.

Jodie Wagner is a journalist at Palm Beach Daily News, which is part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach her at [email protected]. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

Karen O. Fielding