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The role of adult education in sustaining economic growth and expanding opportunity in Massachusetts was explored. The analysis focused on the new basic skills needed for a new economy, groups lacking the new basic skills, the demand for adult basic education (ABE), funding for ABE, building basic skills through adult education, ABE's costs and benefits, and moving toward an integrated job training and ABE system. The following major challenges to building workers' skills were identified: (1) a language challenge; (2) an education credential challenge; and (3) a new literacy challenge. The following were among the recommendations offered for overcoming these challenges: (1) expand weekend classes; (2) track students' outcomes in the labor market after they leave the classroom; (3) expand developmental education through community college-employer partnerships; (4) expand community college developmental education; (5) create tax incentives for the private sector; (6) provide more job training for workers with the most limited skills; (7) refer workers with weak skills to ABE systems and one-stop career centers; (8) and direct ABE students toward other education and training opportunities. The following items are appended: background information on the ABE system; the education and literacy needs of Massachusetts' elderly and young adult populations; and supplemental tables. (Contains 80 tables.) (MN)

Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Education, Adult Educators, Adult Literacy, Adult Students, Basic Skills, Case Studies, Change Strategies, Community Colleges, Economic Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational Finance, Employment Opportunities, English (Second Language), High School Equivalency Programs, Job Training, Labor Force Development, Literacy Education, Postsecondary Education, Program Effectiveness, Public Policy, Role of Education, School Business Relationship, School Districts, Statewide Planning, Student Certification, Sustainable Development, Two Year Colleges, Workplace Literacy

Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, 18 Tremont Street, Suite 1120, Boston, MA 02108 ($18). Tel: 617-742-6800; Web site: For full text: .

Autor: Comings, John; Sum, Andrew; Uvin, Johan


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