May 4, 2020

Catholic Charities Education and Workforce Development Classes Move to Distance Learning During Response to COVID-19

Increases Accessibility to Workforce Training and Education Programs in Time of Economic Uncertainty 

ARLINGTON, Va. - Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington has moved all its Education and Workforce Development classes to distance learning, consistent with social distancing guidance, in an effort to continue serving clients with the safety of students, staff and volunteers at the forefront. The organization, which offered 56 classes at its Manassas office and five parish locations last year, provides adult education on topics ranging from English as a second language to computer literacy and GED classes.

“The economic toll the pandemic is taking on families is significant. We're helping our students continue to push forward, acquiring the skills they need to compete in the workforce or re-enter the workforce,” said Jackeline Chavez, Program Director, Education and Workforce Development, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “We've removed the barrier of transportation or childcare for many individuals. With more than 90 percent of our students at or below the poverty line, the only challenge limiting participation is the need for additional personal technology for students, such as computers, headsets, iPads, and tablets. We are optimistic that these needs will continue to be met.”

Last year, Catholic Charities trained 1,484 students. Sixty-nine percent of those students attended more than one class. The organization had developed plans to begin incorporating distance learning in the fall but needed to do so immediately due to social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Clients are now participating virtually from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia

Training and classes offered include:

  • Employment counseling and training
  • Job development and placement
  • Interview and resume skills
  • GED classes
  • Contextualized English instruction
  • Citizenship preparation
  • Financial literacy
  • ESOL for Childcare (includes Red Cross Pediatric CPR certification and other industry recognized training)
  • Industry-specific English instruction (curriculum developed for employers to be offered to employees)
  • Critical workplace training (i.e. soft skills), including computer skills. (Computer courses receive workforce credit from Northern Virginia Community College.)
  • Additional industry-specific training and certifications (i.e. digital literacy, American Red Cross adult and pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED)

Fees for courses range between $50-$125, and financial assistance is available based on need.

For more information on classes, please visit,-job-prep,-and-training/.   To donate computers, headsets, iPads or tablets, contact Jackeline Chavez at or 703-420-8249.

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development, and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of