Subject: Get Certified to Work
February 2014


We've started drafting a new agency strategic plan; this is a substantial process that lets us take a step back from our everyday tasks and envision new possibilities for the future. Part of this work is asking the broader community for direction; thank you in advance for the help you give us in ensuring that our work meets critical needs.

We're hiring a new Seeds of Success Outreach Coordinator; if you know of someone who loves using produce to improve health equity, send them our way.

Executive Director

GED Prep Re-Starting Soon

GED Test Prep Tutoring is coming back to Community Action Duluth! This fall we helped six people complete their GED. If you've always wanted to get yours done, this could be a great opportunity for you. Students need not be current participants in other CAD programs.

Tutoring sessions will start Tuesday February 25th, and continue every Tuesday through the summer. We'll serve dinner at 4:30 PM and the tutoring will run from 5 to 7 PM. Childcare is available on-site for parents.

"This fall, we saw that the combination of providing evening sessions that included food and childcare really helped people participate," says Kate Wigren, Director of Employment Services at CAD, "The one-on-one tutoring relationships that formed gave participants the motivation and personalized support that they needed to be successful."

Please contact Kate Wigren ( at Community Action Duluth for more information or to register for the program.

You Can Get "Certified to Work"

Certified to Work Logo

If you're unemployed and you want to make a serious investment in yourself, Certified to Work is for you. It's a coordinated series of work skills classes that will be offered this spring. Participants who complete the program will earn at least four certificates that will provide them with an employability boost.

The certifications offered come from our own Common Cents financial management and homebuyer education class, SOAR's STEPS workskills class, and the Duluth Workforce Center's National Career Readiness and Northstar Digital Literacy programs. In addition, some program participants will qualify to take Lake Superior College's 200-hour Machine Operator short course.

If you're interested, check out the full flier here. The Duluth Workforce Center is hosting an information session on the program on Wednesday, February 26th from 1:30 to 3:00. You can get more information right now by giving us a call.

End the School to Prison Pipeline

We think that the number of Duluth kids who are punished for classroom misbehavior with out-of-school suspensions or even arrest is too high. These tools are the strongest sanctions that we can use to punish kids, and we think they're being used too often to solve problems better addressed by in-classroom (or at least in-school) methods.

The worst-case consequence of the overuse of these sanctions is the "school-to-prison pipeline", a situation where kids are tracked towards incarceration from an early age. This month's Big View meeting will bring together parents and school liaison police officers to talk about how to improve communication and keep kids in the classroom. If we can do this, we'll make sure that the school-to-prison pipeline isn't a problem here.

Join us on Thursday, February 27th (5:30-8:00) at our Big View Community Forum. We encourage you to be a part of a very important and relevant community conversation about education, as we consider proactive ways to invest in our children's educational experience.

For more information, please contact Xavier Bell 218-726-1665 x17. Childcare and a meal will be provided. Preregistration is encouraged, but not required.

Tax Site Launches Self-Prep

For the first time, our Free Tax Site is offering tax self-preparation that you can do from home or at the Duluth Public Library. Individuals or families with incomes up to $58,000 can use this service, all you need to do is go to

"MyFreeTaxes provides free online tax prep and filing assistance to taxpayers who exceed the $51,000 household income limit for our traditional in-person service," says Julia Cheng, tax site program coordinator. "It's also an alternative to scheduling appointments or attending walk-in clinics. Yes, it is H&R Block's online tax preparation website, but it’s free for taxpayers with income under $58,000." A person who filed with MyFreeTaxes at the library shared via email, "For the most part I found it very user-friendly. It walks you through everything and explains things patiently, warns you if it thinks you might have missed something, and even tells you how likely you are to face an audit. I'd definitely recommend it."

Taxpayers must register with an email address to prepare and electronically file federal and state returns. A free telephone helpline at 1-855-My-Tx-Help (1-855-698-9435) provides additional assistance. MyFreeTaxes is sponsored by the Walmart Foundation in partnership with Goodwill Industries International, National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide.

Select Events:

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Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4:30 PM and Saturdays at 8:30 AM until April 15th
Walk-in Tax Preparation at Community Action Duluth
February 25th, 1:00 PM Agency Orientation
February 25th, 4:30 PM GED Tutoring Class First Meeting
February 26th, 1:30 PM Certified to Work Info Session (Workforce Center)
February 27th, 5:30 PM February Big View
March 1st, 12:30 PM Common Cents Session 6 First Meeting
March 11th, 1:00 PM Agency Orientation
March 25th, 1:00 PM Agency Orientation