Forty years ago a group of Wetaskiwin and area residents recognized the need to identify and coordinate local resources to meet the changing learning needs of adults. The Wetaskiwin & Area Community Learning Council was formed and has helped transform the lives of many residents since then.
The Council helps learners to transition to further learning, post-secondary or employment by acting as a navigator for many learners, sending and following up on referrals to appropriate agencies, partnering, offering workshops and promotional awareness opportunities. A call to the Community Learning Council is often a starting point for learners as they seek a learning or employment path. The Council is committed to providing programing that enriches and adds to the opportunities available.
Charleen Schnick, Executive Director of the Community Learning Council (CLC) stressed how partnerships and alliances within the community have remained a core value that drives the success. “It became abundantly clear the best way to mobilize a community was through partnerships. Partnerships create networks and the entire community benefits from the shared efforts. Our mandate is changing to reflect a greater focus on foundational learning and literacy.”
Schnick highlighted a few of the ways the Council continues to work with partners to deliver and promote adult learning and literacy. “The CLC partners with numerous other organizations from business, education, municipal government and more to host promote and facilitate learning opportunities. A prime example of an important partner is the Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program.”
The City of Wetaskiwin is another strategic partner by working with the CLC to provide the program guide and to promote the vast number of learning opportunities that are available.
“The community dialogue initiated in the 2013-14 year will continue with a facilitated event in the next program year to build on key themes and priorities. Community conversation promotes adult learning and literacy by increasing awareness of what each organization can do through small acts and in partnership to address learning gaps or opportunities.”
NorQuest College has been an important partner of CLC for 30 years. “NorQuest has always been a terrific partner of our council and contributes in so many ways to the health and viability of our organization. Our council works with our CCI to meet learning needs in our community by directing learners to the campus, locally promote their programs, sharing information and resources and partnering where possible in learning initiatives.”
CLC assists adults with barriers to learning by reducing the barriers of finance, travel and awareness by offering fee subsidies, convenient local locations together with extensive and varied promotional methods.
Schnick closes her address at the AGM. “The Council rarely functions in isolation and almost always within a partnership. It is an energizing model and is only possible with the support of the council members, our partners, our sponsors and the community. A special thank you goes to Barb Johnson, our Chair, who is so willing to share her considerable board experience. This Council has a solid core of long serving members and I thank each and every one for their contributions and support. It has been an amazing year. Thank you everyone for making sure that life-long learning in Wetaskiwin is alive and well.”