Over the past decade, businesses, schools, public libraries, nonprofits, workforce boards, and others have successfully developed programs to bring education, training, and job opportunities to adults.
We Can Do More.
The Alliance will unite organizations in the following priority areas to work together to expand adults' access to high-quality education.
AAE’s #1 priority is to expand adult education in the workforce development system. As a matter of national security, we need a well-educated and trained workforce that can meet the demands of the 21st-century global economy. AAE will lobby legislators to improve the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reauthorization to include more adult education options.
Understanding that many frontline employees did not complete high school, corporations that employ millions—such as McDonald’s, Walmart, Amazon, and more—have developed education benefits programs that start with a high school diploma. AAE seeks to connect businesses and educators who together can facilitate broader access to employee training and education. Such partnerships will help create a better-skilled workforce aligned to the needs of today’s economy.
In recent years, public libraries have taken a lead in creating a variety of innovative educational programs for local residents that include high school completion, career exploration, and specific skill-building courses. Transforming their purpose and expanding their reach, libraries have the capacity to become centers of lifelong learning and reinvigorated communities. Our public libraries need funding to expand this mandate, particularly in small, underserved, and rural communities.
Many colleges have seen declining enrollments in recent years. Through partnerships between secondary educators and community colleges, more adults can complete high school then matriculate directly to postsecondary education. Community colleges make a natural fit for students balancing life, family, job, and other responsibilities as they offer both flexibility and workforce training—key benefits for adult learners.