Eleven states have been named as recipients of a grant to improve the quality of adult education and increase the number of skilled people with credentials in the work force. Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin will each receive $200,000 as part of a program called Accelerating Opportunity.
Led by the nonprofit organization Jobs for the Future and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, the program encourages the participating states to overhaul adult-basic-education and postsecondary programs to integrate skills like reading and math with occupational training. Only a small fraction of students enrolled in adult basic education end up earning a credential. This program is designed to help more students enter credit-bearing programs that can better prepare them for today's job market.
The program will also allow approximately five of the 11 states to receive an additional $1.6-million to put in place their plans over three years. By the end of the program, Jobs for the Future seeks to get approximately 40 community colleges involved and reach more than 18,000 adult learners in the select states.
The second-round grantees will be announced by November 15.