A Bay Area success story is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. It’s a job training program for low-income people, and it’s showing remarkable results even during tough economic times.
At LEN Business and Language Institute, students are working on English in one corner. Others are learning computer skills, bookkeeping, polishing their resumes or practicing for job interviews.
It’s a modern day version of the one-room school house — adult students with a wide range of backgrounds studying the basics of how to get a job.
“We have students who have never touched a computer before, that barely speak English — and we have students who might have a masters degree or even a doctorate,” said Nancy Rynd, founder and director of the job training program.
Set up to feel more like a busy office than a school, everyone at LEN Institute works at their own level. But they all share one thing.
“All of the students are struggling. Ninety-nine percent of the students have children that they need to support,” Rynd said
Rynd and her husband Tom Ahrens founded the LEN Institute 20 years ago. They take about 140 students a year. Many are on public assistance, and some are in the United States on political asylum.
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