Workplace Education: Twenty State PerspectivesReport as inadecuate

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National Commission on Adult Literacy (NJ1)

From 1989 until 1998 the U.S. Department of Education administered the National Workplace Literacy Demonstration Program. During that period, over $130 million supported some 300 projects where adult education programs partnered with thousands of businesses, agencies, and organizations to provide work-based skills to employees. While only seven state adult education programs were funded to provide statewide services, six of those states have continued support for these programs. Although workplace education services are not federally mandated, many additional states have also developed state-supported and state-directed workplace education programs. This Policy Brief describes eight aspects of workplace education programs in 20 states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The aspects are: (1) how workplace programs are funded; (2) levels of effort for the past two years; (3) connections, partnerships, and/or strategic plans implemented by workplace education programs; (4) how states measure outcomes or determine success; (5) the nature of workplace education outcomes achieved; (6) challenges or barriers faced by states; (7) what the states consider to be the key elements of success in their workplace education efforts; and (8) what future policy options states would like to consider. This brief presents aggregated responses to the eight questions sorted by the state types, a set of seven policy options that are informed by the state responses, and overall conclusions of the findings. Three appendices are included: (1) Workplace Education State Profiles; (2) References and Resources; and (3) Questionnaire. (Contains 12 resources.) [This Policy Brief was developed for the August 20th meeting of the National Commission on Adult Literacy.]

Descriptors: Workplace Literacy, Adult Education, Labor Force Development, State Programs, State Aid, Educational Finance, Strategic Planning, Partnerships in Education, Educational Assessment, Outcomes of Education, Barriers, Success, Educational Policy, Leadership, Profiles, Questionnaires

National Commission on Adult Literacy. Available from: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy. 1221 Avenue of the Americas 46th Floor, New York, NY 10020. Tel: 212-512-2362; Fax: 212-512-2610; Web site:

Author: Parker, James T.


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