Alamo Colleges participate in center that offers free education to residents.
By Ashley Bailey
The Alamo Colleges have partnered with the city and local nonprofits to provide free classes and certifications for residents of a federally designated “promise zone,” a low-income area of the Eastside, District 2 City Councilman Alan Warrick said in an interview April 21 during the city’s Fiesta event “Taste of New Orleans.”
In 2014, President Barack Obama chose San Antonio’s downtown Eastside as one of five U.S. cities to receive preferred access to $90 million of federal investments to revitalize high-poverty communities.
The boundaries of the promise zone include 10 ZIP codes and encompass 22 square miles of downtown’s Eastside.
“The Eastside Promise Zone has more than 80,000 residents, and 29 percent of residents over age 25 do not have a high school diploma,” Warrick said.
The initiative is intended to increase opportunities in high-poverty neighborhoods by providing direct support for local leaders, federal funding opportunities and business hiring tax credits.
The other four promise zones are in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kentucky Highlands and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Warrick and Mayor Ivy Taylor on Nov. 2 attended the grand opening of the Alamo Colleges’ Eastside Education and Training Center, which aims to increase educational opportunities for Eastside Promise Zone residents.
“We’re doing a number of things to target poverty,” Warrick said. “We have Alamo Colleges’ Eastside Education and Training Center, which is free college and certifications through Alamo Colleges, free child care, free job training and free job placement all in the same facility for residents living in the promise zone.”
The facility is located at 4551 Dietrich Road.
Since the new center isn’t federally funded but rather federally directed, the Alamo Colleges, the City of San Antonio and nonprofits are working together to run the facility.
“Alamo Colleges, the Goodwill and Project Quest are all working together to provide these services at one location,” Warrick said. “When people say they’re unemployed, I’ll usually give them a card for EETC.”
The training programs offered at EETC range from case management services to obtaining certifications in the medical field such as certified nursing assistant and medical assistant.
Cyber security, English as a Second Language, construction, welding and child care development are a few of the classes scheduled to be added, according to sanantonio.gov.
For admission information, residents should attend information sessions 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays at the center.
For more information, call 210-486-5555.