Over 26 million adults lack a high school diploma, but less than 10 percent are enrolled in adult basic education programs. Many who try adult ed quit after a semester or two without earning any credential.
“The number of adults without skills and credentials beyond high school is a national crisis threatening our economic recovery,” says Marlene B. Seltzer, president of JFF. “At the same time, employers are having difficulty finding qualified workers to fill skilled positions that command a higher salary.”
Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin will receive $200,000 grants to support the redesign effort. In the second phase, five states will receive implementation grants of $1.6 million.
The initiative, which will involve nearly 40 community colleges and 18,000 adult learners, builds on JFF’s Breaking Through, as well as Washington State’s I-BEST program.
Funders include the Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. The National Council on Workforce Education, National College Transition Network, and the Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges will partner with JFF on the project.