Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices for Workforce Development
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After tracking barriers of adult education learners pursuing their GED®, the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills (CLCBH) found that high rates of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and other trauma-related experiences led to an ongoing sense of helplessness and despair among many of our adult learners, in particular Native American learners in Rapid City, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. CLCBH staff recognized that even successful program graduates, especially those impacted by trauma, face further barriers to navigating the transition from learner to long-term employee. In an effort to improve learner retention, achievement, and workforce development, CLCBH began a process of implementing trauma-informed practices and educating staff, learners, and employers in the business community about these practices.