The mission of SBLC is to improve the self-sufficiency of educationally disadvantaged adults. SBLC is a community-based nonprofit organization providing functional literacy and life skills training, in addition to career preparation services, to residents in the Baltimore Area. More than 30 years since our founding, SBLC remains among only a few community-based adult literacy organizations still in operation.
Meeting Baltimore’s Adult Literacy Needs
According to the 2014 American Community Survey in Baltimore:
- There are over 90,000 residents (18 and older) without a high school diploma;
- More than 34% of residents (25 and older) who did not graduate from high school are living in poverty; and
- Individuals without a high school diploma earn on average $20,000, vs. $28,000 for a high school graduate, and $49,000 for a college graduate.
Moreover, in the Baltimore Region, the unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma is 20.4% compared to 11.1% for those with a diploma, and 3.1% with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. The Report found that based on a survey of over 1,000 job seekers in Baltimore City and surrounding counties, 82% face at least 3 barriers to employment and 55% face six or more. Included among these barriers are low levels of literacy (14%), lack of basic math skills (30%), difficulties using technology (28%) and no high school diploma (13%).