Venice Skills Center: The Westside’s Best-Kept Secret

By Keldine Hull 

Located in the heart of Venice at 611 5th Avenue, Venice Skills Center (VSC) has provided adult education job training classes for over 50 years. They offer low cost Career Technical Programs, free English as a Second Language (ESL) and high school diploma/high school equivalency classes. VSC is one of the eleven adult schools in the Division of Adult and Career Education (DACE) in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). DACE is both a national and state leader in adult education serving over 130,000 students this year alone in career technical education. DACE also administers the largest apprenticeship training program in the country with 61 trades and 41 individual career program sponsors. 

VSC serves anyone who needs to learn a career technical skill to acquire a job, learn the English language, acquire a high school diploma and make-up missing course credits for their high school. VSC also assists students in math remediation and helps them to become better readers. 

VSC Principal Melissa McCarthy wants readers to know that, “Venice Skills Center is a local community treasure because we offer the highest quality educational programs at a low cost. Some programs are totally free for adults. Additionally, classes for concurrently enrolled high school students are always free.  To support students’ educational goals and unique schedule needs, many of the classes are offered via open enrollment throughout the school year, which means that students can start anytime during the fall or spring semesters.  Choosing to enroll in VSC to achieve your career and educational goals makes sense.  We have a 50-year history of supporting thousands of adult and high school students each year in our local community to better their lives, the lives of their families, and to achieve their educational and career dreams without incurring financial aid debt that often comes with other post-secondary schools.”

Principal McCarthy and Assistant Principal Elizabeth Penuela shared, “All our teachers are highly qualified and required to hold State teaching credentials.  Teachers personalize instruction in a small learning community setting.  We want more community members to know about our programs at VSC so we are actively reaching out marketing to our local community about all the educational and career training opportunities available at their local adult school. Young adults and adults that are spending thousands of dollars in private career training facilities are getting in debt and not getting the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.  VSC offers the highest quality education and training at a fraction of the cost of private schools or local colleges because we are public adult school funded by tax payer dollars. Most training programs can be completed in months as opposed to years which is important to adults looking to secure living wages and start a career.”

Some of the career technical programs offered at VSC include Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Computer Operator, Building and Ground/ Day Porter, Customer Service, Video Production, Network Control Operator, Administrative Assistant, Accounting (including QuickBooks) and Early Childhood Education. Each program is designed so that students can take the skills they’ve learned at VSC to start a lucrative career upon completion of training. “We empower learners as they pursue their academic, career and civic goals,” said Penuela. “We collaborate with regional partners such as the Community College District, the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department, and local employers to ensure that all learners are equipped to succeed in a global marketplace.”

A teaching staff of fully credentialed educators who are each an expert in their fields help to facilitate an environment that encourages students to exceed even their own expectations. According to Penuela, “We personalize instruction and produce highly trained and knowledgeable students ready to successfully enter the workforce and/or to bridge to higher education.”

Principal McCarthy says, “VSC is dedicated to each student’s educational success.  We want to partner with our students and community to invest in educating and training people to meet both current and future needs, and build a strong workforce.”   

“Our learners come to us with a variety of unique and diverse educational needs, and it is our goal to meet the needs of every student,” said Ms. Penuela. “We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to improve their lives.”

To find out more information about the classes VSC offers, call 310-664-5888 or 310-258-2021 or visit www.veniceskills.org.

To register, visit Venice Skills Center in person or register online at: https://lausd.focusschoolsoftware.com/focus/apply/ focus/apply/

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