When Omar Al Sadoon told the case worker from the Department of Social Services that he wanted work as an electrician, she was incredulous. It was too much, Omar recalls her saying. He needed much better English and training in U.S. electrical standards before he could think about getting a job as an electrical tradesman in Virginia.
A single phone call made all the difference for Skyline Literacy and the educational programs they provide. The non-profit organization, headquartered in Harrisonburg, which focuses on providing instruction for literacy skills and assisting legal immigrants in applying for U.S. citizenship, recently was awarded a $250,000 grant.
Amid concerns about potential citizenship question, area leaders make case for how and why the Census counts
For every member of the community who doesn’t participate in the upcoming census, Harrisonburg could miss out on $2,000 in federal funding. That’s the message Census Bureau officials are taking across the country, including to Harrisonburg.
While he opened the restaurant, Ridwan also began working toward another goal: American citizenship. On the advice of a friend, he wound up enrolling in a citizenship preparation class offered by Skyline Literacy. He was sworn in as a new citizen at the federal courthouse in Harrisonburg – “a very happy moment.”
Community support and donations over next month will determine to what degree—or even if—Skyline Literacy can continue providing reading and citizenship courses for community members next year, board members said Monday.