One of the plenary sessions at the recent National Meeting of State Adult Education Directors included a panel, Champions of Change - Meeting the Call to Transform Adult Learning. Panelists discussed the how the engagement process used to develop Making Skills Everyone's Business resulted in new partnerships and collaborations among foundations, federal agencies, labor and the private sector. The session was moderated by Johan Uvin, OCTAE and panelists included: Alex Chisholm, Skylab Learning, Inc.; Cheryl Feldman, District 1199C, Training and Upgrade Fund; Susan Hildreth, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences; and Lisa Ransom, Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation. Panelists recommended several action items that adult education staff at state and program levels can undertake to strengthen and enhance capacity in adult education and related programs. Several of the recommendations included:
- review PIAAC data and state level data for sub-populations to identify trends and needs
- connect with and inform local policymakers of the urgency in taking action to strengthen the adult literacy system and improve foundation skills for adults in the U.S.
- know your state librarian
- connect with CFOs of companies in creating collaborations and partnerships
- create initiatives and programs to re-skill incumbent workers
- identify untapped sources of funding to supplement adult education funding (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, etc.)
- create pilots and demonstration projects and build on/scale-up successes.
Has your program used any of these practices? What were the results? What additional innovative approaches and/or promising practices have you found that help build capacity in your program or in other programs?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Gail Cope, SME, LINCS Program Management Group