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CET Immigration and Citizenship ProgramCET Immigration and Citizenship Program
The mission of the Center for Employment Training (CET), an economic and community development corporation, is to promote human development and education by providing people with marketable skills training and supportive services that contribute to s... Read more
The mission of the Center for Employment Training (CET), an economic and community development corporation, is to promote human development and education by providing people with marketable skills training and supportive services that contribute to self-sufficiency. Based on CET's philosophy of self-determination, the Immigration and Citizenship Program mission is to empower the community in Santa Clara County by providing quality immigration and citizenship services and by promoting and strengthening civic involvement among the immigrant population.
Santa Clara County's immigrant population exceeds 600,000 people, many of whom have not completed a high school education, and face multiple social justice and economic barriers. In this demographic, a lack of literacy and employment skills severely limits cultural integration, employment opportunities, and economic self-sufficiency. The CET Immigration and Citizenship Program has effectively assessed and addressed the needs of this often overlooked population. It has provided edcuation on citizenship and immigration and legal services to more than 100,000 immigrants from numerous communities for more than twenty-five years. CET continues to be a highly regarded community resource for citizenship and literacy education. CET's ESL Citizenship and Spanish literacy classes address the lack of education in a population often relegated to the margins in employment and the community. By extension, they address a larger community need for skilled workers, active parents, and a population that prizes education and economic self-sufficiency.
I have been a volunteer citizenship instructor for over 7 years in this program. The citizenship class program is run through CET's Immigration office with volunteers running the program week in and out throughout the year. There are two elements to the classes offered. One is an instructor-led full class with typically between 12 to 25 students. This class is offered in the evening three days a week with volunteer instructors. There is also an individual tutoring program for students who are close to the date of their citizenship interview. This is offered two evenings a week. I have thoroughly enjoyed instructing these classes, and have developed a close relationship with the staff, other volunteers and many of the students. This is a thoroughly rewarding experience. Volunteering for this work requires a strong commitment, since the volunteers are essential to the program's success.