Illiteracy: The hidden costs
by Alice Ferrier, Executive Director, Eastside Literacy Council
Illiteracy is a challenge for business. It affects employees, customers, and profits.
When employees can't read safety warnings, accidents happen. When customers can't read the ads, sales don't happen. One literacy student told us he couldn't read notes his boss left for him.
The good news is that some employers are helping, and making a real difference:
Businesses can help by encouraging their employees to volunteer, by matching employee contributions, by providing literacy information and support to employees, and, of course, by making financial contributions to Eastside Literacy Council!
- Larry's employer made sure he didn't have overtime on the evenings he came for tutoring, and paid for his books.
- Brad increased literacy skills by more than three grade levels in just six months. A supervisor in a local factory, he can now write the detailed written reports his boss wants.
- Five Boeing employees are helping Eastside Literacy Council by creating and implementing an outreach program to recruit adult nonreaders in the business community.