As Detroit struggles to get back on its feet during this recession, it seems that the Motor City has yet another problem to face: illiteracy. In a startling report by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, 47 percent of Detroit residents were found to be functionally illiterate.
When it comes to reading a newspaper, filling out a job application or reading instructions on a medicine bottle, nearly half of the residents just can’t do it. Of the 200,000 adults who were found to be functionally illiterate, the study found that about half of them had a high school diploma or GED, while the other half did not. Out of that same group, only 10 percent are receiving adult literacy classes to teach them how to read, while only 25 percent of adult-education programs in Detroit offer services for learners at a low reading level.
For years now, Detroit has suffered with staggering unemployment rates sometimes as high as 50 percent. When the economy does begin to improve and jobs start opening up, the city’s high illiteracy makes one question whether the residents will even be able to qualify for the most basic of jobs.
If the city does not find a way to correct this, the residents of Detroit will continue to be held back, regardless of what state the economy is in.
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