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Employer Guide to Adult Education for Work: Transforming Adult Education to Build a Skilled Workforce

National Center on Education and the Economy, Workforce Development Strategies Group

This guide provides employers with a vision for new, more effective adult education programs, including the key elements to include in order to ensure greater student success, an understanding of the role employers can play in building such a system, best-in-class examples of employer involvement in Adult Education for Work programming, and tools employers can use to assess their training needs and the quality of existing programs and to access training resources. Employers can use these tools as a guide to advocate for programs that better meet their needs.

The Employer Guide to Adult Education for Work was drafted by Phyllis Eisen, co-founder and Senior Advisor to the National Center for Business Champions; Stacey Wagner, Principal at the Jarrett Group; Dr. Audrey Theis of Keylinks Inc., and Lisa Bauer. It was edited by Jackie Kraemer, Mary Clagett, and Ray Uhalde of the Workforce Development Strategies Group.

The guide provides the background research for the two guides to Adult Education for Work. It is one of four documents produced for the One Step Forward initiative under a grant to the National Center on Education and the Economy from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The goal was to identify a set of quality indicators for Adult Education for Work programs geared toward helping low-skilled workers acquire the basic skills they need to succeed in the 21st-century workplace and to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. employers. The other three documents are:

The purpose of identifying the elements of Adult Education for Work programs is to:

  • Inform the adult education field and its practitioners about the key components of effective programs;
  • Stimulate excellence and guide quality programming in support of Adult Education for Work; and
  • Steer new public and private investments into expanded and transformed programming.

In 2009, Jobs for the Future and the Workforce Development Strategy Group of the National Center on Education and the Economy joined forces to form the Workforce and Education Policy Group within JFF.