In 1962, a group of Mexican laborers gave a different meaning to the concept of building a community-based organization. Realizing the need for education and job training, these self-starting, community activists established the “Centro Social Obrero,” which later became the Mission Language and Vocational School (MLVS) in 1968.
The 35,000-square-foot facility, located at 2929 19th Street, was converted from a warehouse to a fully functioning school. In 1965, MLVS pioneered the Bay Area’s first Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) program. After incorporation in 1971, the school was able to purchase the building and expand its instructional programs. Throughout the 1970s, MLVS was a member of the Mission Coalition, a group of 150 grassroots organizations working together to improve the quality of education, healthcare, and other services for neighborhood residents.
Today, MLVS offers 8 different programs and its facilities have expanded to include twenty classrooms, a testing unit, administrative offices and a media center, fully equipped computer and office simulation classrooms, kitchen facilities for culinary classes, and a multi-purpose computer center.