AutoHarvest's David Cole to Chair 2012 "World in a Basket"

Washtenaw Literacy's popular annual October event features food, drink and auctions

Jul 11, 2012, 11:09 ET from Washtenaw Literacy

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Washtenaw Literacy has named Dr. David E. Cole, founder and Board Chair of AutoHarvest, as honorary chair of its annual fundraiser "World in a Basket."  The event is a key source of funding for the group's extraordinarily effective work in teaching illiterate and low literate adults to read and write.  The popular gala evening of live and silent auctions plus strolling dinner raises 20 percent of the group's annual budget. This year's event will be held October 5 at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College.

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"The work of Washtenaw Literacy is exceptionally important in ensuring Michigan has a strong workforce, able to support a new economy," said Dr. Cole. "Organizations such as AutoHarvest, which aims to accelerate product development, growing companies and creating new jobs, know that to succeed we need skilled workers to fill those roles. And we want those workers to come from Michigan."

It's estimated that 12 percent of adults in Washtenaw County are so low literate that they are unable to complete a job application. With a trained group of volunteers, Washtenaw Literacy provides free services that enable these adults to achieve such important literacy goals as receiving a GED, qualifying for community college and further education, or simply building skills that enable them to pursue productive lives and contribute to Washtenaw County's economy.

Begun in 2010, AutoHarvest is an industry-inspired, open innovation marketplace that supports an advanced manufacturing ecosystem through collaboration and provides a richer, deeper pool of intellectual property. In addition to his key role in establishing this innovative approach to spurring the automotive economy, Dr. Cole is former Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and the founder and former head of The Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. He has also successfully collaborated in the start-up of five Ann Arbor-based companies. A well-known and respected authority on automotive industry trends, Dr. Cole's technical and policy consulting experience includes diverse assignments for industry, labor, national and international government.

"Washtenaw Literacy shares a passion with Dr. Cole for moving Michigan's economy forward," said Amy Goodman, Washtenaw Literacy Executive Director. "We're absolutely thrilled to have his support in ensuring that all Washtenaw County residents can participate in and contribute to a bright new economy."

About World in a Basket

World in a Basket is an annual fundraiser supporting the work of Washtenaw Literacy.  This year's event is on October 5, at 5:00, in Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence Building.  The evening includes drinks, strolling supper, and auctions of hundreds of gift baskets. Tickets are $75 if purchased by September 21 – a $10 discount off the regular $85 price.  All tickets include beer, wine and strolling supper.  Proceeds go directly to Washtenaw Literacy.  For ticket information, call (734) 879-1320 or email Washtenaw Literacy at

About Washtenaw Literacy

Washtenaw Literacy ( is a volunteer-based organization providing free literacy instruction customized to the needs of adults throughout Washtenaw County. Volunteers provide individual and group tutoring in reading and writing skills and in English as a second language so adults can improve their personal, family, and community lives.

SOURCE Washtenaw Literacy