With reskilling and upskilling programs, adult education is an economic catalyst to help low-skilled adults and their communities recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Louisiana Community and Technical College System's (LCTCS) WorkReady U programs provide numerous options for participation, including working from home or receiving in-person instruction.
WorkReady U joins more than 65,000 adult educators in “Move Ahead with Adult Ed,” a new national campaign to enroll adult learners into programs that equip them with skills that lead to high school equivalency, transition to college, and jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. Millions of Americans are out of work or underemployed and need to reskill or upskill to re-enter the workforce or pursue their education. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for services.
An international study indicated approximately 43 million working-age Americans lack the skills needed for many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs. According to the U.S. Census, there are over 22 million adults in the U.S. without a high school diploma.
The #MoveAheadWithAdultEd campaign focuses on re-engaging the millions of Americans who are in need of additional skills to compete in the workforce to recover financially from the pandemic. In addition to providing industry skills training, adult education programs teach literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy, as well as offer high school equivalency, English acquisition, and college and workforce preparation classes.
Campaign partners Coalition on Adult Basic Education and the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education estimate that for every dollar invested in adult education, a community receives $60 back in increased income, property taxes, and savings on public assistance and legal-system expenses.
WorkReady U’s adult education programs currently provide instruction both online and in-person. CDC guidelines and sanitation protocols are in place for in-person instruction to ensure a safe learning environment.
“Adult education provides on-ramps to better jobs and to community college,” said Erin Landry, Executive Director of WorkReady U at LCTCS. “With adult education, the pathway is in place to reskill and upskill Louisiana's adults and not only get them back into the workforce but get them into better jobs than they had before the pandemic.”
WorkReady U aims to assist adults in attaining a high school equivalency diploma and in the transition to postsecondary education and training through career pathways. The program also assists immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners in improving their reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills in English; improving their math skills; and acquiring an understanding of the American System of Government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship.