What We Do

Helping people grow. Helping businesses grow. Helping Detroit grow.

Many businesses in Detroit struggle to find dependable workforce talent at the entry level. That’s why Reading Works creates and nurtures relationships between adult education service providers and local companies.

Through our network of quality educational service providers, we empower Detroiters to build the foundational skills necessary for lasting employment. Our mission is to build long-term employment opportunities for the people and the businesses of Detroit.

We link foundational skills development to job opportunities

Our network of educational service providers empowers adults to build the foundational skills required to contribute to the workforce.

Reading Works advocates and supports adult education service providers that help people develop skills directly related to successful employment.

We then work with local businesses to help those service providers identify entry-level employment opportunities for qualified adult learners.

We provide strategic business advice on adult education

Reading Works connects companies with educational service providers that can assist in solving unique employment challenges.

Our work goes well beyond making connections. We provide expert counsel on how employers and adult educators can work together to strengthen the workforce.

We take pride in being a trusted partner and strategic advisor to the Detroit business community. So let’s get to work.

We strengthen the workforce at the fundamental level

Foundational skills such as reading, writing, math, critical thinking, digital literacy, career navigation, and professional training are necessary for most jobs and careers.

Candidates lacking these skills are rarely considered for open positions. Reading Works strives to break the poverty cycle by creating new opportunities for employees and employers alike.

Our network of service providers focuses on foundational skills that boost job performance, accelerating the rate at which adult learners can join the workforce successfully.


Detroit employers are struggling with talent shortages. National research has shown that there are four proven educational models that empower adult learners to acquire skills immediately applicable to employment. Through our trusted network of quality service providers, Reading Works elevates the impact of these evidence-based educational models on the local community.

Reading Works’ deep collaboration with businesses, educational service providers, and funding organizations creates opportunities for personal, professional, and economic growth. We strive to help the people of Detroit advance their quality of life while helping local businesses solve major workforce challenges.

By providing foundational skills education and training connected to specific occupations, these service providers help adult learners become job-ready faster.

By providing on-ramps to career pathways, these service providers help adult learners launch their careers and build their skills over time.

By providing in-person and online programs to earn high-school diplomas and equivalents, these service providers help adult learners obtain required job credentials.

Through employer-based programs, work experiences, and earn-and-learn models, these service providers help adult learners connect educational growth to real jobs.