Mission Statement

Mission Language and Vocational School’s (MLVS) mission is to improve the socio-economic condition of limited or non-English speaking, low-and moderate-income Latinos and other underserved families in San Francisco and the Bay Area through job-specific language and vocational training programs, and the creation of economic development initiatives. Support services such as career counseling, job placement assistance, and referral services are an integral part of MLVS’ programs.  MLVS strives to empower underserved populations and improve the community through social, economic, and educational advancements.

About Us

Mission Language and Vocational School (MLVS) has been in continuous operation as a community-based education center for over 45 years, administering federal, state, and locally funded programs. Each year the school enrolls over 300 students, and has an annual operating budget of $1.25 million. More than 70% of graduating students continue to be employed after one year, managing to escape the poverty cycle and become self-sufficient, productive individuals in their communities.

Since the school began as the Centro Social Obrero in 1962, more than 28,000 low-income, adult students have been placed in jobs. MLVS’ courses are licensed by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, and certified by the Eligible Training Provider’s List (ETPL). MLVS is recognized as an innovator in Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) and an expert in job skills training. We offer job-specific training programs in office technology, healthcare, and culinary arts. Up to 150 youth are served annually in MLVS after-school and summer programs for at-risk middle- and high-school aged students. In addition, the school’s bi-lingual, multi-cultural staff provide career guidance, counseling, job placement, and referral services for legal, childcare, health, and housing assistance.


MLVS' History

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 programs in the fields of healthcare, culinary arts, and clerical, and its facilities have expanded to include twenty classrooms, a testing unit, administrative offices and a media center, fully equipped computer and medical office simulation classrooms, kitchen facilities for culinary classes, and a multi-purpose computer center.