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Lynn Wooten
  Lynn Wooten
 

Ross Professor Lends Hand to Laid-off Workers

3/11/2010 --

New online learning program developed by Lynn Wooten helps Michigan workers find new careers.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— The Ross School is part of a new partnership that provides free online learning for the state's unemployed workers.

LEARN, a collaboration of the Ross School, the Maria Madeline Project Inc., five local library systems, and WJBK-TV/Fox 2 in Detroit, provides university-level e-learning and career rebranding courses with the goal of preparing more than 100,000 unemployed Michigan workers to re-enter the work force in a new career.

The courses, which focus on healthcare, government and nonprofits, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship, were developed by Ross professor Lynn Wooten, clinical associate professor of strategy and management and organizations, in collaboration with Maria Madeline Project.

"I think this initiative is necessary, especially here in Michigan, because the economy is shifting. We are no longer a manufacturing economy. We are becoming a service and knowledge economy," Wooten says. "However, at the same time, we have not invested in retraining our executives, professional workers, and skilled laborers to adapt to this shift in the economy. So, for the state of Michigan, I believe retraining our work force will give us a new competitive advantage."

LEARN is the bridge between a former career and a new one, Wooten says. It helps Michigan's unemployed and underemployed workers navigate a new career by helping them identify their strengths and interests and guiding them in what it takes to be successful in their new line of work.

The LEARN courses also include lessons on basic and intermediate computer skills, and how to develop and maintain a positive frame of mind in the new marketplace. While most of the courses will help workers rebrand their careers, some will assist them in living successfully beyond the job — financial planning, maintaining a healthy diet, and being a successful caregiver for aging parents.

Each LEARN course includes both an online instructor-led component and an online independent study portion, allowing students to work at their own pace. Courses are available at any time at www.50plusprime.com. They are also available online at the public libraries in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Grosse Pointe, and Salem-South Lyon.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu