This background paper reviews strategies and programs that other countries have designed to improve the basic skills of adults and the quality of the services available to them. Its purpose is to provide examples for the U.S. to consider and to urge the U.S. to move ahead on this agenda. It was drafted by Gretchen Cheney and edited by Jackie Kraemer, Mary Clagett, and Ray Uhalde of the Workforce Development Strategies Group.
This 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:
- Adult Education for Work: Transforming Adult Education to Build a Skilled Workforce;
- Employer Guide to Adult Education for Work: Transforming Adult Education to Build a Skilled Workforce; and
- Background and Supporting Evidence for Adult Education for Work.
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.