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The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund’s efforts to connect low and moderate-income persons to career pathways is inhibited by the skills gap. As a result, the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund is pursuing several key policy and capacity-building efforts focused on increasing adult educational attainment. In particular, they are aiming to expand pre-bridge and bridge programs to prepare adults with low basic skills for occupational training, support the creation of ten Learning Labs in Detroit, facilitate peer learning among basic skills providers, and more.
Increased global competition has led to declines in the American manufacturing sector, requiring U.S. workers to possess stronger skills and broader competencies in order to succeed in the current job market; in particular, postsecondary education or technical training is fundamental to an individual’s long-term earning potential. Recognizing that traditional training and job-placement programs may not address today’s complex work-force challenges, a wide variety of local organizations are coming together to form sector-based workforce partnerships. These collaborations engage employers and training providers to address both workforce needs of employers in specific sectors and the training, employment, and career advancement needs of workers and jobseekers. This report provides an overview of sector-based workforce partnerships and their value to communities, and makes suggestions for growing and sustaining these partnerships.
Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of America’s population, though many lack the necessary skills and education to meet the demands of industry and earn family sustaining wages. This report provides recommendations that can be taken in order to bridge the skills gap. These recommendations are guided by the idea that investment in the educating and advancing of Latino workers is necessary for economic recovery and sustainability, employment is an asset to higher education and career advancement (not a barrier), and that the skilled jobs of today require additional education beyond a diploma.
No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) was an offer by the State of Michigan from 2007-2010 of free tuition to low income and unemployed workers willing to go back to school and earn a market-relevant degree or credential. This study explored the experiences of those who enrolled in NWLB, seeking insight into how NWLB affected participants and their families. Results show that most respondents found NWLB valuable, program retention and completion rates were very high, most respondents who completed trainin
Michigan’s economy is transforming to one that demands new skills, knowledge, and credentials, especially post-secondary education. However, there are fewer adults able to meet this growing need; in fact, one out of three working-age Michigan adults lacks the basic skills or credentials to attain a family-sustaining job and contribute to the state’s economy. This report recommends that Michigan transforms its adult learning infrastructure to create a unified strategic approach to increasing basic skills and post-secondary credential attainment. It also outlines a variety of programs that improve the skills and abilities of workers to help them prepare to access this emerging market.
Nearly half of working age Detroiters do not have the essential foundational skills necessary to get a job or succeed in a career. At the same time, the need for strong foundational skills is growing. Detroit’s emerging economic comeback means that the number of jobs is growing, and yet, too few Detroiters qualify for them. This report outlines models of effective practice in improving adult foundational skills and case studies in which such practices have been successfully implemented.
In spite of overwhelming odds, some immigrants with minimal academic credentials are finding their way to college, entering post-secondary programs and earning credentials that provide them with the skills required to get and keep good jobs. They are doing so with the assistance of new and innovative partnerships among employers, community colleges, and community organizations that expand access to higher education for immigrants. Upon examining these partnerships, with a focus on the Hispanic immigrant adult population, this report outlines emerging lessons about successful partnerships and the recommendations for the field.
The Detroit Economic Mobility Grant Initiative, a 10-grant Detroit pilot program operating from mid-2018 through 2020, has demonstrated that adult education and occupational training programs can work together to substantially improve learner results by accelerating instruction and contextualizing it to work. The momentum for these grants grew from local stakeholder realization that the foundational skills gap in Detroit was hindering employment success for almost half of the city’s working adults. This report offers summaries of each of the programs, and outlines the outcomes and key takeaways from the Grant Initiative.
State policymakers consistently neglect adequately funding adult education, making it less accessible for low-skilled workers who want to build their skills, become financially self-sufficient and contribute to Michigan’s economy. Adult education is the key to preparing these workers for occupational training and skilled employment, and better funding and an expanded role will enable it to meet the demand more effectively. Expanding adult education services to help more low-skilled but highly motivated individuals succeed in post-secondary training will benefit Michigan, because skilled workers help attract and keep businesses in the state, spend more in their local communities, pay more in taxes, and are less likely to become unemployed or need public assistance