Dennis came to Literacy Services in 1995. His co-worker was in a program at LSW, and Dennis thought it would be a good idea for him to improve his skills as his job requirements changed. “A lot of jobs want you to take classes to learn new skills,” he observed, “and I figured that I needed to work on my reading and spelling so I could qualify for those classes.”
Dennis was persistent and motivated; he studied reading and spelling at LSW two or three times a week for almost nine years. His work at Literacy Services gave him the foundation he needed to take a number of job-related classes over the years. Dennis learned a variety of new skills, and became a certified welder. He kept updating his skills and learning new ones, which helped him advance in his career and also seemed to insulate him from layoffs.
“I had figured it might help with layoffs,” Dennis recalled. “Those new skills kept you from getting laid off. Many times, I would keep working when other guys who were there longer than me were getting laid off.”
“Not being laid off. That was because of all the studying I did.”
Dennis fondly remembers working with many wonderful tutors over the course of his time at Literacy Services. He enjoyed the learning environment and appreciated being challenged to improve: “I had some great tutors! A couple of them got on me, well, not exactly, but pushed me hard in some areas where I needed it. I enjoyed that. I don’t remember all of the tutors’ names, but they were good people. It was fun, and I enjoyed working with them.”
Dennis is now retired. He and his wife moved from Wisconsin to Arkansas in July of 2014. He looks back on a rewarding welding career and considers his studies at Literacy Services to be an important part of his success. Dennis enjoyed the learning process and continued to learn throughout the course of his working life.
“I couldn’t have taken all those courses without the work I was doing on reading. I qualified for them and it made a big difference,” recounted Dennis. Those courses not only resulted in his advanced certification as a welder, but in other skills that enhanced his value as an employee. “Not being laid off. That was because of all the studying I did. And I enjoyed it a lot.”