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Student testifies to PA Senate and Labor & Industry

Sep 22, 2021 : Articles
Photo of construction worker hammering wood frame

Joint Senate Education and Labor and Industry Committee Hearing
Adult Education and Workforce Development
September 22, 2021

Testimony by Dimero Dixon, Southwest Aluminum and Glass and graduate of Introduction to the Construction Trades

Introduction to the construction trades can be described in one simple word: Needed

Completing this program, entering the Laborers, and getting hired at Southwest Aluminum and Glass has supercharged my outlook and encouraged my ambition to be better, to be more, to be greater.

Problem solving, self-improvement, sharpening math skills, hearing testimonials, witnessing how the trades affect the environment, learning about your triggers and how to react – are some of the most valuable things I learned from the program.

We were held accountable. We learned that to be early is being on time and being on time is late. Mr. Ron runs the program from the Builders Guild. He gave us encouragement but doesn't have time for the games. That's the workforce we were getting into.

Ms. Vivienne was our math teacher from Literacy Pittsburgh. She sharpened my math skills and helped me see how they apply to construction. I learned how to work quickly and built my confidence to use skills on the job.

The program taught us to have laser focus. Running into obstacles during the course taught us to overcome and adjust. This is not a perfect world and things do happen, but you have to plan for everything in order to achieve a goal that you set for your success.

I learned a lot about myself and how I show up in the world from this experience. For example, I learned that I hold the cards finding the right strategy in which to play them it's up to me. I learned that I decide how I define success. I have more control over how my life looks and why I am in this position.

Many of the things to challenge us were taught through this course and they do exist in work and in life. That's why the Introduction to the Construction Trades is needed.

The program believed in me and my classmates. That belief was something I think some of us had lost and now have found again. 

Please support this program.

Literacy Pittsburgh (formerly Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council) helps create better lives through learning. Recognized as a national leader in adult and family literacy, Literacy Pittsburgh is the largest provider of adult basic education in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Last year, Literacy Pittsburgh helped some 5,000 individuals acquire the skills needed to reach their fullest potential in life and participate productively in their communities. Literacy Pittsburgh provides free, personalized instruction in workforce readiness, high school diploma test preparation, digital literacy, English language learning, math, reading, and family literacy through one-to-one and small class instruction. Founded in 1982, it serves local adults through numerous neighborhood locations and its Downtown Pittsburgh Learning Center.       

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