E-learningSelf Awareness

New online program aims to help adults 'achieve the American Dream' – Palm Beach Post


The Town of Palm Beach United Way has partnered with a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization to help Palm Beach County residents build job-ready and workplace skills.
Through the American Dream Academy, a new online learning program offered by the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, adults can gain the skills they need to pursue in-demand jobs or continue their education.
The tuition-free, six-month program offers courses created by companies including IBM, Meta, Google, and Salesforce that provide certificates for jobs in data analysis, IT support, cybersecurity, project management, sales operations and development, and digital social media marketing.
More: At Town of Palm Beach United Way’s annual meeting, big shoes to fill and big money to allocate
The program also provides an opportunity for participants to hone important workplace and leadership skills such as communications, problem-solving and technical support.
Courses offered by the program are pre-approved for college credit.
“Through The American Dream Academy, we want to provide people with the skills and tools to increase their chances of higher-quality, higher-paid employment and break down the barriers to achieving their American Dream,” said Dr. Kerry Healey, president of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.
In Palm Beach County, 12 percent of 552,286 households live in poverty, and 34 percent earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living, also referred to as ALICE households (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), according to the 2020 Florida United for Alice Report.
A single adult living in Palm Beach County with one dependent in childcare would need to make $52,152 a year, or $26.08 an hour, to earn enough to cover the bare minimum cost to live and work in the modern economy, according to the report.
Florida’s minimum wage is $10 an hour.
The Town of Palm Beach United Way partnered with the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in an effort to offer Palm Beach County residents access to free online training and high-quality credentials that will prepare youth in underserved communities and underemployed workers and individuals without college degrees to enter high-growth digital jobs, said Beth Walton, Town of Palm Beach United Way CEO.
“This is a special opportunity we are encouraging all Palm Beach County residents to take advantage of, regardless of their employment status, age, education background, or career goals,” Walton said. “It’s a program that’s open and beneficial to everyone, and it is essential in today’s economy.
“Individuals with post-secondary degrees and certifications are more likely to participate in the workforce and earn higher wages. They are also more likely to access safer housing, healthier food and better medical care.”
The American Dream Academy is open to job seekers who are 18 years or older and English-language proficient; have a high school diploma or equivalent; are a resident of the United Sates with a valid, government-issued identification; and can commit approximately 5 to 10 hours a week to complete the six-month program.
Registration began May 1 and will continue until all spots are filled. Approximately 200,000 scholarship spots throughout the United States are available, according to the Town of Palm Beach United Way. To date, nearly 9,700 have been filled.
Participants can start classes as soon as they register. 
For information or to register, visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org/american-dream-academy or call 561-655-1919.
Jodie Wagner is a journalist at the Palm Beach Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach her at jwagner@pbdailynews.comHelp support our journalism. Subscribe today.



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