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Narrative Analysis Tool


The Narrative Report responses below can be further filtered by one or more states, as well as keywords.

For more information on Narrative Reports please see the technical assistance documents.

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State Alignment of adult education and literacy activities with other one-stop required partners to implement the strategies in the Unified or Combined State Plan
Alabama Alabama Adult Education programs are closely aligned with required One-Stop partners and are critical in providing academic remediation and workforce development training for Alabamians who have need of One-Stop services. Adult education one-stop services include but are not limited to: TABE testing for WIOA programs, academic remediation for certificate programs, GED and High School Option (HSO) instructional services, employability skills and career pathway development. Many of awarded providers have full-service adult education classrooms within their respective career centers. Participants are referred to our one-stop partners for WIOA funding opportunities and job placement services. Alabama applied for and was awarded the Reimagine Workforce Preparation (RWP) grant, titled the Alabama Workforce Stabilization Program (AWSP). Many programs were restricted to virtual learning as program participants were still unsure of how to maneuver during these uncertain times. This program allows the partners to be strategic in providing support to employers and in providing training to assist low-income Alabamians displaced, dislocated, or incumbent workers to transition into new fields or to be promoted from within. The Adult Education System Office and local program providers are integral components of the AWSP and provide leadership and services to the RWP grant. Adult Education also created the Mobilizing Alabama Pathways (MAP) program which is an asynchronous online foundational training in the five AWSP targeted sector areas of Manufacturing, Healthcare, Construction, Information Technology, and Transportation/Logistics. The AWSP has strengthened partnerships between workforce, Alabama Technology Network, Alabama Industrial Development and Training, the Alabama Department of Commerce, The Alabama Career Center System, and the Workforce and Adult Education Departments of local Community Colleges. AWSP has served over 150 employers with our partnerships, reaching over 3,000 participants for skills training for 2021-2022.  This year Adult Education spearheaded a rewrite to the employability skills program (Ready to Work) and launched Alabama Career Essentials (ACE) statewide to all partners within the state.  ACE is set to the be the premier workforce readiness curriculum for adult education and beyond. The System office is awarding college credit for each completer in addition to offering a scholarship for participants to enroll in additional postsecondary education. ACE will continue to be implemented throughout Alabama’s adult education system with modules dedicated to digital literacy, contextualized 21st century skills and relative employability training for the current and future workforce. The Dashboard for Visualizing Income Determination, (DAVID), system allows WIOA partners to discuss the “benefits cliff” with jobseekers/students that are receiving public assistance. This system was deployed in 2020-2021 and instituted statewide for all partners to use in 2021-2022.  This is a joint endeavor with the state of Alabama, the Alabama WIOA partners, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( Adult Education has continued traditional WIOA collaborations and using the technologies instituted during the pandemic to reach students beyond our walls to serve all populations. Contextualized academic support, workforce preparation, and high school equivalency preparation has been delivered in-person, virtually and in hybrid formats to suit the needs of students and partners around the state.  Leadership funds have been utilized to support the costs associated with adult educations participation in these and other activities related to the Alabama State Plan. 
Alaska The Alaska Adult Education (AAE) program implements strategies that align both regional and statewide activities with partners listed in the Alaska Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined Plan for Program Years 2020-2023. In PY 2021, the core partners collaborated with the AAE program on challenges encountered, innovative practices, strategies for implementation, and strengthening partnerships. The AAE program continued to partner with the WIOA Title 1-B Statewide Activities program to fund General Education Development (GED) tests for first-time test takers who are enrolled in an Alaska Adult Education Regional Program. The joint venture paves a clear pathway for individuals who are prepared to test, by eliminating the costs associated with test completion to improve accessibility. In PY 2021, the program served over 560 first-time testers. The AAE State Director has led an initiative with staff and partners to provide information about adult education services. The Division of Employment and Training Services (DETS) leadership team meets bi-weekly on programmatic touch points, including strategies for overlapping and integrated service delivery. The leadership team consists of the Assistant Director of Workforce Development and Services, Regional Managers from the Alaska Job Center Network (AJCN), the Employment and Training Technical Unit Manager, and the AAE State Director. The meetings help all participants to better understand communication expectations and strategies to local programs, including delivery of unemployment benefits and filing, services available through the one-stop job center, and access to workforce development opportunities.
American Samoa The American Samoa Community College receives grant funding from the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant to provide educational and literacy programs within the Territory of American Samoa. Grant funds are utilized for programs as indicated by law. The AEFL program in American Samoa is 100% federally funded. The target population for the Adult Education and Literacy Programs are adults with none or minimal formal education, adults who have limited English proficiency. Students are required to be at least 16 years of age, and have not received a high school diploma. There is a continued overwhelming need to provide and expand adult education and literacy programs in American Samoa. The goals of Adult Education programs are indicated in the American Samoa Unified State Plan. To assist illiteracy among adults with formal learning. Literacy programs are offered to the community through faith-based organizations, workplace partners with Adult Education Literacy and Extended Learning (AELEL) with the partnership support of the American Samoa Community College. Instructors continue to conduct workshops emphasizing the teaching of English Literacy and/or Basic Math skills; courses in addition to Basic Life Skills essential to all interested adult learners.
Arkansas The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services/Adult Education Section (ADWS/AES), in conjunction with the Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center (AALRC), strives to create and implement level-appropriate training programs tailored specifically to adult learners, with an end goal of increasing student achievement that leads to gainful employment or post-secondary education/career training ADWS/AES and AALRC work with core one-stop partners regularly to ensure that a comprehensive program of adult education services is provided which meets the needs of students. Collaborating with our core one-stop partners allows input from all involved, providing more comprehensive and practical programming. An adult education provider serves on each Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB), and all providers are asked to attend the meeting for their respective service areas. During these meetings, adult education directors provide information regarding services, share current performance data, and identify collaboration opportunities to meet business and industry needs. In addition, the WIOA Core Partners gather twice a year for a statewide conference to discuss and report relevant updates concerning their programs. This conference allows partners to share program details– performance outcomes, success stories, areas of growth, etc. and provides opportunities for additional collaboration.  In 2021-22, the meeting was again held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the topics covered included the Common Intake Form, Apprenticeships, Business Engagement, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. In addition, at each meeting, the partners focus on those with barriers to employment. This past year homeless individuals, reentry/justice-involved individuals, Veterans, individuals with disabilities, and individuals aging out of foster care were covered. Since many individuals had not returned to the workforce, the Department of Human Services shared information on how SNAP E&T can assist participants in reaching their goals. ADWS/AES partners with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, which tests adult education participants for possible undiagnosed learning disabilities and assists with updating any expired documentation. As a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provider, ADWS/AES provides guidance and career-building programming through Integrated Education and Training Programs (IETs) and other training. TANF provides the funds needed to cover the cost of training for eligible individuals. TANF participants have been licensed and certified in Welding, Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver’s License, etc. In some cases, the Division of Workforce Services’ mobile unit is regularly available at a local Adult Education program to assist adult education students in applying for jobs. ADWS/AES local providers work with their partner counterparts to conduct joint career fairs at the local one-stops. Partners also participate in other events, such as the annual Adult Education Statewide Open House, for which leadership funds are used to provide advertising, recruitment materials, and professional development training for local programs.
California The CDE, the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB), and the EDD, in collaboration with other workforce development agencies, coordinate education and training programs to assist individuals with overcoming barriers to employment. The California WIOA, Title II Implementation Survey revealed some key points about the Title II perspective.
  • 55.0 percent of the 218 agencies that completed the survey characterized their collaboration with their local Workforce Development Board as effective.
  • As a result, 61.5 percent were able to work and communicate with their local workforce development board to understand the regional economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • 60.1 percent stated that their agency is represented through a consortium, and 50 percent said their staff attend the local WDB meetings
Additionally, the CDE and other core partners developed strategies for co-enrollment – starting in PY 2018-19 with EL Navigator project that involved five regional participants in California; and continuing with the EL Co-Enrollment grant with four local regions participating. The goal of both projects is to provide extra support to English Language Learners seeking to access to one-stop services -- many of whom were enrolled in California WIOA, Title II programs. A 2nd EL Co-Enrollment grant began in August 2021 with more regional participants to continue the tracking and promotion of WIOA, Title I and Title II collaboration.
Colorado During the 21-22, program year activities to align adult education and literacy with other core programs and one-stop partners remained unchanged from the prior year with limited involvement of adult education in other labor-led statewide career pathways strategies. However, the Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) team engaged in several activities around IET development to support adult learner access to career pathways in the 21-22 program year. AEI also found continued success in working with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to support ongoing training around serving individuals with disabilities across the workforce development system. We also partnered with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to develop online professional development and continued conversations with WIOA partners around data sharing.  In continuing to address the November 2019 federal corrective action plan, AEI expanded the IET toolkit for local providers and continued hosting a monthly workgroup dedicated to highlighting grant requirements and best practices. Grantees in Colorado were able to enroll learners in four Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs, focused on healthcare, retail sales, food industry, and early childhood education. The 2021-22 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report identified these industries as in-demand and areas of growth supporting Colorado’s economic recovery. Some grantees developed partnerships with local workforce centers, community colleges (some of which have adult education grantees on site), and employment partners. All IELCE grantees offering IET in 21-22 utilized staff to develop curriculum that aligns to the workforce training and had career navigators who helped learners develop educational and career plans to work toward goals.   WIOA partners continued to utilize the Programmatic Accessibility Moodle Course in the 21-22 program year, with over 400 individuals completing the course since 2019. This course was created in partnership with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Rocky Mountain Regional ADA Center and focuses on how to evaluate and improve access to a site and its services for individuals with disabilities.  In 21-22 the AEI team continued to host three Moodle courses in partnership with the Colorado Workforce Development Council. The “Remote Worker Certification for Supervisors and Leaders” and “Remote Worker Certification for Workers” Moodle courses focus on equipping workers and supervisors with the skills needed to work in remote environments. The “Colorado Career Conversation” Moodle course focuses on supporting individuals engaging in career conversations with students and job seekers to understand which careers are in demand, explore careers in depth, and articulate the path(s) to enter those careers.  Members of the AEI team continued to meet with Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Regional Services Unit staff quarterly in the 21-22 program year, and presented on Title II during WIOA Agency Cross-Training in February of 2022. Members of the AEI team also continued to meet with staff at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Colorado Department of Higher Education to update and ensure Data Sharing Agreements were in place for the 21-22 annual report. Preliminary data sharing conversations have also been held with the Data Trust organized by the Colorado Workforce Development Council and staff at the Colorado Department of Human Services, though no data sharing has yet taken place with these partners.  
District of Columbia In FY22, OSSE AFE worked with the Workforce Investment Council (WIC), America Works (the District’s One Stop Operator), the Department of Employment Services (DOES), the Department on Disability Services (DDS), the Department of Human Services (DHS), the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and other key partners to achieve the strategic objectives outlined in the District of Columbia’s WIOA Unified State Plan, including the alignment of adult education and literacy activities with the other one-stop required partner activities. Additionally, OSSE AFE, in collaboration with these agencies, expanded the district’s efforts to create uniformity in intake, assessment, and program referral practices across DC government agencies via Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) eTest implementation, screening of adults for learning disabilities, and DC Data Vault implementation.
Georgia During Fiscal Year 2021-2022 (FY22), the Georgia Office of Adult Education (GOAE) ensured programs maintained required one-stop partnerships through ongoing desktop monitoring provided by the Instructional Services (IS) team as well as through on-site or virtual monitoring visits conducted by GOAE. In FY22, GOAE conducted five local program monitoring visits (onsite and virtual). Adult education programs, in FY22, were required to provide quarterly Integrated Education and Training (IET) opportunities during the program year.  These IETs were aligned to the local and regional workforce development plans for the areas they serve.  GOAE offered six focused statewide trainings and targeted technical assistance meetings to local programs in order to support this requirement and ensure alignment of core partner services.  GOAE and the Georgia Office of Workforce Development (GOWD) both sit within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) which allows for ongoing communication, collaboration, and partnership.  In FY22, GOAE and GOWD aligned services in the following areas:
  • Title I and Title II Referral Process
    • GOAE and GOWD worked together to align their definitions of basic skills deficiency and prepared a training plan for both Title I and Title II providers so that the field is properly trained on eligibility requirements. 
    • GOWD agreed to give priority of service to Title II adult education students.
    • GOAE and GOWD worked together to streamline the process for referrals between adult education and local one-stop providers. This collaboration produced a formalized process for referrals, as well as guidance for both sets of providers that will be rolled out in FY23.  The collaboration also includes a process for data sharing amongst providers to ease the referral process. 
  • Training Opportunities
    • GOAE provided training and technical assistance to GOWD staff on the Blackboard learning management system to support GOWD’s development of training modules for their local area personnel.
    • A GOWD staff member, as a part of GOAE’s IET webinar series to the field, provided training on registered apprenticeships and the requirements of the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).
    • Two members of GOAE participated in GOWD’s Spring Conference.  In addition to attending sessions and meeting with local WorkSource leaders, GOAE conducted a session titled “Adult Education: A Partner with Flexible Options”.
  • Career Plus HSE
    • Two GOWD staff participated in GOAE’s Career Plus HSE Advisory Committee.
    • GOWD allocated a portion of their year-two WIOA funds for Career Plus HSE students and conducted multiple meetings between local adult education programs and the local WorkSource providers on the requirements for using these funds.
GOAE, in FY22, collaborated with the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) for data matching through formal data matching agreements, inclusive of SWIS data. Local adult education programs established referral agreements with GDOL and worked to establish class sites with one-stop providers.
Guam Guam State Agency Office (SAO) continued to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Guam Department of Labor and the American Job Center to provide high-quality support services to a local adult education program to provide support services for adult learners to attain a high school diploma or its equivalency and to transition into the workforce or postsecondary education.  The local program, Guam Department of Labor,  Guam Department of Education, Guam Community College, Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority, Guam Mayors Council, and other community partners in the private sector represent the Adult Education Advisory Committee. Meetings were scheduled every month.   Many collaboration or partnership meetings were held online, as many were still apprehensive about meeting in person.  Although faced with stress or social anxiety with the pandemic, collaboration and partnership took an active interest in ensuring a positive impact on adult learners in education, career pathways, and employability skills to meet Guam’s workforce needs.   The local program continued to work closely with American Job Center (AJC) to assist and increase adult education students' access to available programs and services in career opportunities, furthering education, high-quality training, and support services at the AJC.  The Integrated Education and Training (IET) program was highlighted in one of the meetings.  Tourism is identified as one of the industry demands in the Combined State Plan; therefore, the local program focused on meeting the workforce demand in tourism since tourism is forecasted to rebound and grow, which would require immediate restaffing. An English and Culinary Arts faculty developed the curriculum. The IET program was offered at the beginning of the program year.  Guam continued to experience a high rise in positive cases of COVID-19.  Despite the case numbers, in-person classes and services were opened with mitigation standards. Some students were still apprehensive about face-to-face meetings, prompting the need for mental health services, which was added to the wraparound service for adult education students. 
Hawaii Alignment The Hawaii Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) unified state plan outlines five strategies to achieve the strategic vision and goals for Hawaii’s workforce:
  • provide coordinated, aligned services
  • provide services to vulnerable populations
  • develop sector strategies and career pathways
  • augment high employment rate
  • fully engage employers in the workforce development system to address the talent shortage
In the program year (PY) 2021 – 2022, the state made progress in implementing two of the five strategies while coordinating with core partners. The work is ongoing and described below. Strategy 1: Coordinated, Aligned Services The state continued its work on establishing a Data Sharing Agreement with the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Unemployment Insurance Division to receive data on participants exiting the local provider’s adult education program. The state engaged the assistance of the University of Hawaii P-20 office to move the process forward. A draft copy of the agreement was delivered to the Hawaii DLIR for review. A consultation was also made with LiteracyPro Systems, whose product LACES is used by the state to manage student information in the local provider’s adult education program. It was confirmed that when the unemployment data is available, it can be imported into LACES and be part of the NRS reports. The state has also completed all agreements for the US Department of Labor State Wage Interchange System (SWIS) as a Performance Accountability and Customer Information Agency (PACIA). This will allow access to other states’ unemployment insurance data through the Hawaii DLIR when data matching is requested. In addition, all clearance forms were completed for local provider access to the SWIS data when available in LACES. Strategy 2: Services to Vulnerable Populations The vulnerable populations identified in this strategy of the Hawaii WIOA unified state plan are the homeless and Native Hawaiians, which substantially overlap in demographics. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders comprise approximately 35% of Hawaii’s homeless population, according to the Hawaii Health Data Warehouse 2022 Point in Time Count. In PY 2021 – 2022, no participants were identified as homeless of the 3,370 participants served by the local provider’s adult education program. Native Hawaiian participants comprised the third-largest ethnicity group, with 584 participants (17%) of the 3,370 participants. The local service provider did not employ a special effort to attract Native Hawaiian participants. Unfortunately, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the largest populations with an academic achievement gap in the Hawaii public school system. This population may inevitably utilize AEFLA adult education services at some point if the achievement gap is not addressed before exiting public school. The local service provider will implement modified intake procedures in PY 2022 - 2023 to capture accurate employment barrier information from participants to better represent the population served, which include characteristics besides race, such as participants who are homeless.  
Idaho As outlined in the Spring 2022 competition, Adult Education providers were required to align programmatic activities to the goals outlined in the State Unified Plan.  Idaho’s adult education programs worked closely with the WIOA core partners and the Governor appointed Workforce Development Council (WDC) to promote growth and access to the increasingly diverse economic base: Lumber, manufacturing, tourism, retail, agriculture, construction, and healthcare.  The WIOA core partners, the Workforce Development Council, state leadership, industry partners, and other stakeholders met at least once per quarter while the WDC met monthly.  The state director of adult education serves on this council.  Particular noteworthy successes include: 1) Next Steps Idaho.  The Idaho State Board of Education created Next Steps Idaho which makes college and career readiness resources available to Idahoans of every age.  AE is a participant in these services and connects students to funds for specific career pathways.  The process allows potential recipients to complete an interest profile, a works value inventory, a cost estimation for training, and a pathway to meet salary requirements connected to interests and strengths. 2) Launch.  Idaho residents may qualify for tuition assistance for training and education programs offered by numerous Idaho institutions.  Launch provides up to $7500 in tuition assistance to AE students.  Training and tuition costs and fees are paid as the student continues along their chosen career pathway.  Given the fact that approximately 4 out of 5 employers have tried to hire someone in the last year, AE along with core partners assists those in need of additional funding.  One AE provider in Idaho leveraged these funds for a student in a welding program who graduated and gained a sustainable wage-earning career.  3) Meeting local hiring needs.  An AE provider collaborated with and met over a period of 6 weeks with an EMT agency.  Between the AE leadership team and the EMT management team, a pathway was created, and AE students were allowed to participate in this training.  Students learned basic terminology and skills in the classroom and experienced hands-on learning at the EMT agency.  An update from the county commissioners indicated that their local EMT agency was now operating as a full team as a result of this collaboration. 4)  Planning and development of pre-apprenticeship programs.  Idaho’s Apprenticeship Coalition and AE met to identify how Idaho’s Integrated Education and Training models connect and feed into pre-apprenticeships.  The planning for development has begun. 5.  Strengthened Local Partnerships for Wraparound Services.  Providers worked closely with their local WIOA core partners to strengthen partnerships for childcare, transportation, and other critical services so that participants could access and persist in their AE classes.  New partnerships were developed to offer transportation vouchers and reduced child daycare costs.  Adult Education providers’ efforts to develop career pathways to meet the local workforce needs resulted in positive outcomes.  Through virtual and in-person meetings, work on creating stackable credential pathways from AE to two-year degree programs along with long-term and short-term certificated training, particularly through IET programs and contextualized ABE learning models, was made possible.  Planning for enrolling AE participants in pre-apprenticeship programs began and Idaho anticipates increased dual enrollment for all core partners.  Approximately 15% of AE participants were identified as dual enrolled. AE activities saw co-enrollments with Veteran’s Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Labor Career Services, Native American populations, and college bridge programs.  The state also began to investigate the Ability to Benefit clause so that AE students can begin to access federal financial aid before completing a high school equivalency credential.  Idaho’s challenge with co-enrollment stems from data matching against only one measure – social security numbers.  Moving forward, discussions will continue with the WDC on creating another measure.  Other local alignment activities took place with a more integrated approach to student intake and orientation.  Programs included core partners in the intake and orientation.  One-stop partners participated to explain additional services available to them.  This on-site approach has created an increased interest by stakeholders to participate.  At additional times throughout the year, one-stop partners set up tables and informational booths on-site where AE participants can meet at their leisure.  The collaboration resulted in AE participants receiving financial rewards for attendance and program completion through the various participating agencies. 
Illinois Throughout PY21, the Senior Director for Adult Education joined key staff members from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, The Illinois Department of Employment Services, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and all core WIOA partners as a member of the Illinois Technical Assistance Team in monthly meetings to ensure the infrastructure for service integration and partnership at state level is modeled and implemented at the local level. Furthermore, the ICCB Adult Education Executive Leadership staff remains engaged in all Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB) policy workgroups and state-level committees such as the IWIB Service Integration policy workgroup, the Integrated Business Services Committee, the Certification Policy Workgroup, and the WIOA Summit Planning Group. The ICCB also provided technical assistance to all core partners in understanding the adult education system and more specifically, training in appropriate administration of educational assessments to students. The ICCB ensured the collaboration and coordination at the state level was reflected in the ongoing technical assistance provided to local programs in their development of career pathway programs.    Illinois’ efforts to align education, workforce, and economic development through a statewide definition for career pathways laid a solid foundation to promote career pathway models and promising practices. This uniquely positioned the IWIB to facilitate connections between workforce and education with business and industry partners. Furthermore, this positioned the IWIB and the State to create a common set of expectations that enabled the alignment of career pathways programs and built a stronger talent pipeline across all populations. Career pathway development in Illinois continues to expand so that it will encompass every level of the education system to meet the needs of our diverse populations, including those that face multiple barriers to achieving self-sufficiency. The pathways are a basis for clusters of specific occupations or careers grouped together because they share similar interests, strengths, and skills. To further ensure system integration, the ICCB engaged in the planning of the annual WIOA Summitt with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Community College Board Title II staff, and the Illinois  Department of Human Services. This event reflected the commitment to collaboration of all the core partners and the unified mission fostered by WIOA. The summit was intentionally designed to assist local core partner staff and board members by providing practical guidance on service and system integration.   
Indiana In Program Year 2021-2022 (PY 2021), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD) advanced continuous improvement through improved student outcomes and a continued focus on innovative models of instruction and effective professional development as the pandemic eased. Because of the pandemic, local programs shuttered in-person classes and moved to virtual and other instructional platforms in March 2020. The federal adult education program witnessed a 35 percent decline in enrollment from the previous program year, and while the drop in Indiana was only 18 percent, rebuilding enrollment was a goal for PY 2021. Slowly, adult education providers reopened doors and welcomed students back into classrooms in PY 2021 while maintaining options for virtual/hybrid learning. Despite COVID, lessons were learned, promising practices were shared, and new opportunities were expanded; however, Indiana’s goal never changed – a vision of adult education programming that leads to successful career pathways, postsecondary transitions, and employment.   Lingering concerns about rebuilding enrollments were on the minds of local program personnel as the new program year began. Forty-five percent of the adult education administrators said in a survey that COVID impacted programs a lot and 70 percent indicated that enrollment was a primary challenge. In a similar survey, however, lead teachers viewed student retention as a greater challenge. In addition to enrollment, local directors of adult education said attendance, mental health, staffing, and morale were barriers post-COVID. Enrollment slowly returned as COVID restrictions eased and English language learners led the return to in-person classes. A mid-year incentive for meeting or exceeding measurable skills gains and equaling the highest enrollment number of either December 31, 2019, or December 31, 2020, was responsible, in part, for spurring increases in performance. State Leadership Funds (AEFLA Section 223) Describe how the state has used funds made available under section 223 (State Leadership activities) for each of the following required activities:          
  • Alignment of adult and literacy activities with other one-stop required partners to implement the strategies in the Unified or Combined State Plan as described in section 223(l)(a).
Since moving from IDOE to IDWD, Indiana Adult Education worked to align adult education and literacy activities with those provided by the one-stop system. WIOA allowed this work to deepen and expand to include additional partners. The pandemic provided additional incentives to this work. In the spring of 2018, Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 50 into law. This law moved state workforce board authority from the State Workforce Investment Council (SWIC) to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet (GWC). The legislation charged the GWC with reviewing each workforce related program. Overall dollars for training of adult education participants was significantly reduced for PY 2019 causing a reduction in the level of co-enrollments between Title 1 and Title II. Leadership acknowledged these funding and enrollment issues and allowed the use of CARES Act funding for training of individuals without a secondary credential when co-enrolled in Title II beginning July 1, 2020. Meanwhile, the governor appointed representatives for both adult education and vocational rehabilitation to the GWC and extended these representatives voting privileges in response to a WIOA State Plan modification. As advocates for inclusive and equitable programing, this allowed additional physical and programmatic access to WIOA-funded services for the populations that these programs represent and serve. Alignment work continued around the delivery of employment and training services and development of career pathways using state and federal funding. New career and technical education courses were added for the 2021-2022 school year. Along with the Office of Work Based Learning and Apprenticeships (OWBLA), adult education continued to partner as part of the workforce system with both CTE and OWBLA to align Integrated Education and Training (IET) and Workforce Education Initiative (WEI) programming across the education continuum. Likewise, the Virtual Client Engagement (VCE) tool was created in the state agency-wide Microsoft Team’s portal to connect the public virtually with workforce service providers. The system allowed for online scheduling of appointments, appointments themselves, document upload and download, and completion of required applications and signatures.
Iowa On February 14, 2020, the Iowa Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation released a request for proposals for a five-year federal grant to provide adult education and literacy Section 231 activities and services as well as a proposal for Section 243, Integrated English Literacy and Civics Engagement. Local workforce development areas participated in the review process and provided feedback on the alignment of eligible applications with their local plans under section 108 of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Award recipients completed the first renewal period on June 30, 2022. Also in 2022, as part of the on-site monitoring process, the Department began including tours of one-stop centers. The addition of these tours and introduction of state staff to local core partners during on-site monitoring further promotes the alignment of adult education and literacy activities with the one-stop required partners.  The Iowa State Core Partner Working Group, made up of state policy makers from the Iowa Department for the Blind, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Iowa Workforce Development, published initial guidance on requirements for local MOUs. In November 2021, local areas submitted MOUs and updated local plans to the state core partners for review and scoring. The state working group delivered technical assistance and guidance for recommended revisions to the plans. At the conclusion of this process all local plans were approved. The MOUs were routed to the Iowa Department of Education for review and signature as the state agency has maintained responsibility for one-stop Title II activities.  The Iowa State Core Partner Working Group under the direction of the State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) completed the one-stop certification standards. The one-stop certification establishes standard expectations for the quality and consistency of customer-focused services provided by partners. The development and presentation of the one-stop certification standards to the SWDB focused on effectiveness, accessibility and continuous improvement. Local Workforce Development Boards will begin the initial round of certifying their centers October 2022 through September 2023. 
Kansas Kansas strives to align Adult Education with one-stop partners. Much implementation occurs at the local level, with programs coordinating with workforce, Rehabilitation Services, and others. At the state level, the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) and the Kansas Department of Commerce jointly sponsor the annual Workforce Innovation (WIOA) Conference. This event brings together Adult Education, Career Technical Education, vocational rehabilitation, businesses and industries, government agencies, and other partners to share strategies and hold discussions on collaboratively improving educational opportunities and workforce talent pipelines in Kansas. After the cancelation in 2020 due to COVID-19, the WIOA Conference was able to return to in-person in fall 2021. Organizers continue to solicit feedback for improving the conference each year, ensuring there are professional development opportunities relevant for all partners. Career pathways are a major focus for both educational institutions and business partners as Kansas, like most of the nation, faces worker shortages in multiple sectors. Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K) is an Integrated Education and Training (IET) initiative designed to assist students in increasing math, reading, writing, or English language skills; obtaining a secondary diploma; earning occupational credentials in high-demand fields; and moving into jobs with self-sustaining wages. AO-K is based on the I-BEST model from Washington state, with students enrolled simultaneously in Adult Education and postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. In PY2021, institutions in Kansas had over 100 approved pathways, a list that is continuously reviewed and revised. At the AO-K Summit in May 2022, an updated application for pathway approval was released, along with an AO-K Handbook detailing the requirements and functions of entities engaging in AO-K. During program year 2021, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, which forced some programs to pause due to closures or staff shortages, Kansas had 239 participants enrolled in AO-K pathways. Because only a small minority (5.4%) of these participants were English Learners (ELs), the state is prioritizing outreach to these students and encouraging programs to develop methods of supporting ELs in AO-K pathways. At the end of PY2021, KBOR began seeking a new hire to serve as the state AO-K coordinator, which will enable increased training, support, and tracking for programs participating in AO-K and will also help build pathways at more institutions across Kansas. To further support partnerships between Adult Education and Career Technical Education, KBOR offers a competitive braided funding grant opportunity with AEFLA and Perkins. The Integrating Adult Basic Education with Career Technical Education (Integrating Academics) grant focuses on partnerships between ABE and CTE, with grantees developing activities to enhance student learning, retention, and completion in career pathways. In PY2021, three agencies were awarded grants that were designed to develop or expand AO-K pathways or other IET activities. With increased focus on collaboration among ABE and CTE and the statewide push to assist students in meeting both educational and career goals, more agencies have applied for the Integrating Academics grant in PY2022, with seven grants already awarded.
Kentucky Alignment with One-Stop Partners The Executive Director, Office of Adult Education (OAE) served on the state-level Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB). There are 10 Local Workforce Development Areas (LWDAs) and designated regions across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Local providers are encouraged to serve on, support, and participate in the Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) for their designated region. Representation on these boards allowed the Office of Adult Education under the Department of Workforce Development, to align office priorities with state and local decision-making processes to better serve working age Kentuckians. In PY21, 36 local provider staff which consisted of College and Career Navigators (CCNs) and instructors provided services at one-stop centers. CCNs were present at the one-stop centers and assisted with creating and maintaining a Career Pathway Plan for each client. The State CCN Senior Coordinator oversees the CCNs and the Career Pathway process. The CCNs and instructors use the information provided by the one-stop center and LWDBs to connect clients to applicable employment, education, and training resources. In PY21, the OAE worked to integrate state staff and the LPNs into the Kentucky Integrated Business Engagement System (KIBES), a web-based system, which will allow OAE and the LPN to share business engagements and referrals to benefit employers and adult education students. The intent moving forward is to coordinate with the Office of Employer and Apprenticeship Services (OEAS) quarterly to align its work and referral processes in KIBES to create synchronization and efficiency across the process.
Louisiana During FY 2021-2022, WRU supported innovative services based on the needs of the provider network.  Leadership funds were used to support high-quality services to students, professional development for staff, support for programs, and collaboration with partners. This included continued support both statewide and locally of partnerships with workforce entities through our existing local infrastructure agreements with technology solutions, co-location models, and career pathway support. While working with post-secondary partners is essential within an Integrated Education and Training (IET) program, so too is the continued support from workforce partners. Support took on many forms including financing of materials and supplies for students to successfully complete their education and training. Though challenging at times due to staff turnover, understanding of each other’s missions, and communication issues, collaboration between WRU providers and core partners like the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) helps to ensure that learners are afforded the opportunity to enter the workforce. LWC provides services such as on-site counseling for eligible students. WRU representatives sit on all 15 local Workforce Development Boards. Additionally, one WRU provider, the Department of Public Safety & Corrections, holds seats on the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council and the LWC Industry-Based Certification Committee.
Maryland Title II is a key stakeholder in Maryland's WIOA State Plan and the alignment of Title II activities with other workforce activities works to implement strategies developed in the State Plan.  Maryland's Benchmarks of Success continues to unify the efforts of Maryland's entire workforce system through strategically developed committees and regular reporting. Benchmarks of Success reflects the shared vision of excellence among Maryland’s workforce partners around five strategic goals geared towards strengthening the earning capacity of Marylanders.  The Benchmarks' four main committees: Data and Dashboard, Professional Development and Technical Assistance, Communications, and Policy, all had representation from state Title II staff and Title II held leadership positions on the Data and Dashboard and Professional Development/Technical Assistance committees. In addition, local Title II leadership participated on the committees as well.  The Benchmarks initiative seeks to provide a forum for the open sharing of ideas, challenges, and solutions that affects all of Maryland's workforce system.   PY21 workgroup initiatives including joint listening sessions conducted by Titles I, II, III, and IV in better understanding how Measurable Skill Gains are measured, tracked, and reported across all agencies through the Data and Dashboard Committee.  These efforts in PY21 will culminate in a joint MSG Policy for Maryland in PY22 across Titles I, II and IV.  Maryland's Career Pathways Grant, which provided targeted co-enrollment guidance and financial assistance between Titles I and II, completed in PY21, with committee work in PY21 focusing on documenting best practices through extensive interviews and report writing.  A final report on these efforts is to be released in PY22.  Finally, the Benchmarks e-Learning series continued in PY21, providing front line staff across all the WIOA partners training on the roles and responsibilities of the following entities: The Governor's Workforce Development Board, Title I, Title II, and Title III.  
Michigan The State of Michigan has uniquely positioned itself to align all of the WIOA core partners within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), Office of Employment and Training (E&T). LEO was created to bring together the labor, economic development, workforce and housing functions of state government to expand opportunity and prosperity. E&T is one of 16 sub-agencies within the department and houses Workforce Development (WD), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP). LEO-E&T provides oversight and administration of all four titles under the WIOA in Michigan.  This structure ensures the WIOA core programs have the same strategic plan, vision and mission, as well as leadership support for strong collaboration. E&T has continued to work diligently to increase collaboration at both the state and local levels among core program partners. An example of this collaboration was the invitation for the Adult Education State Director and Adult Education Manager to present on Adult Education to the MRS Leadership Council. Strengthening the partnership between adult education and MRS has been identified as a priority within E&T and also at the local level. While the initial presentation was a high-level overview of adult education services, eligibility, providers, and performance, the presentation raised questions and discussion on serving adults with disabilities, data collection at intake, and opportunities for referrals. Discussions on these topics have continued between the state offices and also the Michigan Adult, Community, and Alternative Education (MACAE) Association. In addition to these continued meetings at the state level, MRS presented at the 2022 Michigan Adult Education and Training Conference (MAETC) and also at the 2022 MACAE Fall Conference on MRS services, eligibility, referrals, and intake process. LEO-E&T hosts a series of “Technical Assistance Tuesdays” webinars that provide hour-long training sessions to introduce specific programs or functions within LEO-E&T. These webinars are available to all Michigan Works! Agency and internal staff who want a refresher on our programs or just want to get back to the basics. In August, the Office of Adult Education was highlighted for Back-to-School month and the Technical Assistance Tuesdays featured Adult Education 101. The Office of Adult Education also had an opportunity to showcase adult education services during the LEO Townhall that month for all employees in the department. The Office of Adult Education leveraged the 2022 MAETC to share information and updates on pertinent state programs and initiatives with adult education administrators, teachers and staff. The MAETC Call for Presenters was sent to all E&T staff, as well as other state departments and agencies. This resulted in a number of quality sessions from other state offices, including:
  • Apprenticeship Opportunities (presented by LEO-WD, Statewide Apprenticeship Expansion)
  • How Michigan Reconnect Can Support Your Adult Education Goals (presented by LEO, Office of Sixty by 30)
  • The VR Force Awakens (presented by MRS)
  • Licensed to Work – Credential Transparency in Career Pathways (presented by LEO-WD, Industry Engagement)
  • Accommodations in Computer Systems (presented by MRS, Business Network Division)
  • Supporting Effective Transitions and Employment Opportunities for Adult ESL Learners with International Qualifications (presented by LEO, Office of Global Michigan)
  • Michigan Department of Corrections Vocational Village Programs (presented by MDOC)
  • Pathfinder & Adult Education: A Tool for All Students (presented by LEO-E&T)
During PY 2021, LEO-WD used State Leadership funds to support alignment of the core partners under WIOA and networking opportunities through shared professional development. LEO-WD partnered with MACAE to offer a discounted rate to attend the MACAE Fall Conference, Partners for Progress, for Michigan Works! and MRS staff. The Office of Adult Education was invited to present to multiple state offices and partners during PY 2021 to raise awareness of adult education services, including:
  • Women’s Commission, Fostering Access, Rights and Equity (FARE) Navigators
  • Oakland Schools, Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Michigan Works! Association, Business Service Professionals Training
On an ongoing basis, Office of Adult Education staff attend regional and/or local meetings that bring together adult education providers, and can include MWAs and other core partners, to discuss ways to improve service provision and/or additional opportunities for collaboration. These meetings are convened by the locals and the role of the Adult Education staff is to provide relevant information, as appropriate, to assist with the discussions. As a result of being present for these discussions, Adult Education staff are able to share promising practices and/or innovative solutions with other areas of the state facing similar challenges.
Minnesota During the 2021 program year the Adult Education Leadership Team at the Minnesota Department of Education made progress toward alignment with other one-stop partners to implement the strategies in the Minnesota WIOA Combined plan. Currently, Adult Education is not a voting member of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board (GWDB). State legislation does not list Adult Education as a voting member, but lists the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Sometimes this arrangement works well, such as when the individual voting for MDE is connected to the work of adult education. This arrangement does not work as well when the MDE representative prioritizes K12 education and/or is not deeply involved in Adult Education work or strategies. This past year the Adult Education Leadership Team worked with the GWDB staff to propose changes to align state legislation with federal legislation, but the proposals did not pass. Minnesota Adult Education was represented on the National Governors Association (NGA) Work Based Learning (WBL) team. The work of this team focused on creating recommendations for policy, practice, or cross agency engagement to support increasing equity in WBL experiences. One of the deliverables of this work was the creation of work based resources for employers and educators, found here: Minnesota is one of few states that has Adult Education data in the Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) (, which  matches student data from pre-kindergarten through completion of postsecondary education and entry into the workforce. Improvements in adding the Adult Education data were worked on this past program year. The purpose of this work is described below:
By bridging existing data with other incoming data a range of education programmatic and delivery questions can be answered to gauge the effectiveness of current programs and design targeted improvement strategies to  help students. SLEDS brings together data from education and workforce to:
  • Identify the most viable pathways for individuals in achieving successful outcomes in education and work;
  • Inform decisions to support and improve education and workforce policy and practice, and
  • Assist in creating a more seamless education and workforce system for all Minnesotans.
The Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership governs the SLEDS system. The project is managed jointly by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Three workforce briefs were created to help inform partners and employers of Adult Career Pathways, Integrated Education and Training, and Workplace Literacy models. Work with these briefs and the promotion of the models will continue into the following year. This past program year also included promotion of the conditional work referral between one-stop partners and Adult Education. Many of these referrals focus on offering digital literacy. Several Adult Education programs are offering digital literacy classes at one-stop partner locations. Minnesota funds 10 transitions regions across the state. The purpose of funding these regions is to build capacity within the Minnesota Adult Education system to transition adult learners to training, postsecondary, or employment. Each region, one of which is the Department of Corrections, has a transitions coordinator who facilitates the development of a transitions regional plan. This plan includes activities that, preferably, are regional in scope so that all adult education providers in the region can benefit from the activities. The funding supports the creation of new curriculum for career focused classes, development of new career pathways, and efforts to connect with employers.
Mississippi Under Mississippi’s Combined Plan, from the instant an individual enters the education and/or workforce system, he or she will be provided the necessary tools to choose and pursue a career pathway relevant to the state’s current and future labor markets. The Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB), Office of Adult Education (OAE), is the designated agency in the state responsible for administering WIOA Title II funds. The purpose of adult education in Mississippi is to enable local adult education programs to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy services throughout the state to further the vision and goals as outlined in Mississippi’s Combined Plan. The Office of Adult Education assumed the following activities to implement MS’ seven WIOA strategies:
  • Developed policies that will coordinate service delivery with WIOA Combined Plan Partners and participate in shared governance through the State Workforce Investment Board
  • Strengthened interagency partnerships
    • Provided cross-trained adult education representatives in four Comprehensive One-Stop Centers
    • Monitored referrals from One-Stop Centers or Youth Providers to the Smart Start Pathway Course
    • Implemented activities of MS’ Works Smart Start Career Pathway Model
  • Developed and updated articulated pathways across educational and technical sectors
    • Smart Start Pathway Course curriculum is aligned with employer/labor market needs
    • Partnerships developed with K-12 providers to enroll dropouts in HSE classes.
      1. Northwest MS Community College’ Adult Education program hosted a K-12 Counselor Day at their Senatobia Campus
  • Interfaced with the MS Works Common Intake and Reporting Module to transmit outcomes in order to calculate skill gains and cross-program participation
  • Exchanged data in MS' WIOA Hub to share service enrollments, barriers, and other common identifiers in compliance with WIOA
  • Determined priorities for training and align the Smart Start Pathway Class with regional and state labor market needs
  • Participate in state-wide efforts to increase awareness of MS’ workforce system among employers and job seekers
Nebraska Nebraska Adult Education as the State Eligible Agency (SEA) for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provided State Leadership activities in accordance with WIOA Section 223 to eight subrecipients during the 2021-2022 program year.  Program Year 2021-2022 marked the first year of services year for the current funding cycle. Each program year, Nebraska Adult Education reevaluates the needs of provider staff and instructors to ensure state leadership funding is effective in improving all areas of service to adult learners.  Student populations have changed dramatically with the influx of migrant populations, many of whom have presented as illiterate in their native languages, therefore training opportunities continue to evolve and adapt. Nebraska Adult Education has ensured representation on the State Workforce Board by the Adult Education State Director; however, a lack of virtual attendance options made it difficult to actively participate given the ongoing risk of COVID exposure during the program year. During the 2021-2022 program year, Nebraska Adult Education successfully petitioned to have a local program director appointed to two of the three regional workforce boards. This representation provided a seat at the table for inclusive partnering statewide. Greater Nebraska Workforce area has always had adult education representation since WIA was launched. Lincoln and Omaha workforce areas were restrictive and presented reasons why Title II was not allowed to have direct board representation. Coordination of services and promoting partnerships to better serve adult learners remained a continued focus of Nebraska Adult Education. The State Office staff, as well as local programs continued to collaborate with WIOA partners when feasible to ensure optimal services were being offered to Nebraskans to successfully meet objectives identified in the Combined State Plan. Referrals to and from WIOA partners were designed to eliminate barriers to student progress and encouraged successful career pathways and transition. Collaboration and cross training enhanced services and minimized duplication. Partnering has expanded integrated education and training opportunities across the state. Remote opportunities enhanced offerings of career services to some areas in which distance had created barriers to accessing services. Partner representation during orientation or adult education classes in select areas ensured that collaborative partnering was felt at the individual student level with wrap around services.
Nevada Training has continued for grantees struggling to implement Integrated Education and Training (IET) under Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE), which includes developing career pathways leading to high demand jobs as defined by the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation. Nevada participated in the IET Design Camp training provided at the federal level with the professional development contractor leading the Nevada team. The Nevada Adult Education State Director has served on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board (GWDB) since November 1, 2018 and was appointed as Chair to a Strategic Planning Subcommittee. Her work on the subcommittee will help to better align the adult education program with the One-Stop required partners through the development of a more collaborative Combined State Plan. The subcommittee will start the 2024 revisions. As specified in the Unified State Plan, Title II programs in Nevada make referrals to the American Job Centers (AJC), and most receive referral clients from these agencies. four of the seven local providers are co-located with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) core partners, either in the AJC or through workforce satellite sites. The Workforce satellite sites are supported through the Las Vegas Clark County Library District (LVCCLD) and the College of Southern Nevada. The partnership between the southern local workforce area and the library district has been in place for more than five years and has helped to build necessary collaboration. The two programs are located right across the hall in some locations which facilitates meaningful access for Title II students to workforce services. As a result of this co-location, students were provided transportation passes, employment assistance, and access to Title I training funds. At least two of the local Title II programs participate in bi-monthly meetings with the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB). The State Director has also regularly participated in training for both the north and the south LWDBs and delivered cross-training on Title II to core partners. In the northern local area, the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) program director attended monthly partner meetings at the American Job Center (AJC), where the seated partners discussed client services, processes, and procedures. Also, TMCC staffed the Title II office at the AJC.   The Program Director of the Western Nevada College serves on the northern (LWDB). The Las Vegas Clark County Library District has a representative on the board of Workforce Connections, the southern LWDB.
New Jersey NJ's State Director continues to develop ways to ensure one-stop required partners are working towards common adult literacy goals. With that, the State Director, in conjunction with local boards, members of the OSCCs, the State Council for Adult Literacy and the State Employment and Training Commission planned and held a full day summit online titled, "Movement Along Career Pathways Towards Family Sustaining Wages" on August 12, 2021. The rationale and goals for this convening were the thought that as we in NJ move forward from the pandemic, we find that the challenge of career pathways resulting in family sustaining wages for the adult learner may benefit from a deep collegial discussion. This event came as the result of a dialogue including a number of stakeholders involved in the adult literacy and workforce development space with a goal of improving local and regional dialogues, maximizing resources and developing coordinated area ecosystems. The event was a joint venture under the auspices of the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission (SETC) and the State Council for Adult Literacy Education Services (SCALES). It has been developed in with local and state representatives from across the partnership spectrum including adult literacy, education, community colleges, workforce development and business. Jane Oates, President of Working Nation was the keynote and was followed by Wendell Dallas, Vice-President for Sales and Marketing at Georgia Power and serves as the Chairman of State of Georgia Workforce Development Board, Co-Chair of the Georgia Literacy Commission and was a 2019 recipient of a Georgia Friend of Literacy Award. Mr. Dallas also serves as the Vice-Chair of the National Association of State Workforce Board Chairs under the National Governors Association. The session  included employer perspectives, opportunities to discuss innovations and best practices with colleagues across WIOA, partnership in the OSCCs and beyond, and a call-to-action, which will hopefully be a strong beginning of this important dialogue and planning to help NJ's adult learners.
New Mexico New Mexico invested the majority of funds made available under Section 223 in three primary buckets: (1) Supporting the Literacy Pro contract for our LACES database and support for the use of that database, (2) Professional development initiatives and opportunities, including the services of three consultants with distinct roles, and (3) state staff salaries. We also used state leadership funds for (4) activities related to outreach in the state related to adult education, travel for state staff to attend professional development opportunities, and state office supplies. To support implementation of strategies and initiatives in New Mexico’s Combined State Plan, the former and current State Directors and staff members engaged in various initiatives and participated actively in cross-agency committees and task forces. One state staff member’s role (our Education/Workforce Development Systems Specialist) continues to be partly dedicated to supporting partnerships, alignment, and the implementation of strategies and initiatives in New Mexico’s Combined State Plan. State staff actively represent Adult Education on state, regional, and local partnership initiatives and governance structures, from serving as part of the multi-agency WIOA state leadership team to serving on myriad committees and task forces, including Director Gallup serving on the state workforce development board.  State staff largely contributed to many related cross-agency collaborations, at times taking a lead role.  Examples:  (1) RISE NM & The New Mexico Longitudinal Data Project, (2) Collaborating with the Public Education Department to authorize the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) as an alternative to the high-stakes HSE testing route, with nine implementing agencies vetted and selected by the end of the program year, and (3) Supporting New Mexico’s state-level membership in the national Pathways to Prosperity Network for a second year and collaborating in a formal partnership with national nonprofit JFF to solidify a cross-agency collaboration between the Higher Education Department and other state agencies who had all separately identified education and career pathways that lead to high-wage, in-demand jobs as a key strategy to support educational attainment and economic advancement for New Mexicans.   The JFF Pathways collaboration has been strategically tied to one of our longitudinal professional development initiatives, facilitated by Jeff Fantine. For the last three years, our office has funded and collaborated on the longitudinal Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) to support local Adult Education programs’ adoption and strengthening of career pathway-oriented service delivery models.  One of many critical aspects of this service delivery model includes the formation of effective partnerships, including with core WIOA Title partners, local workforce development boards, American Job Centers or “One Stops,” employers, school districts, and other community organizations and partners.  PY 21/22 was the final year of this field-based initiative. Technical Assistance and Coaching (TAC) teams were formed around five topics:  New programs/leadership, developing partnerships, contextualizing instruction, IET development, and serving English language learners in career pathways.  With the development and expansion IETs one key focus of CPI Year 3, several new IET programs were launched and more are slated for development.  Many of the lessons learned and tools created during the CPI continue to inform and populate the state PD system and Propel website, as described in the next section.
North Carolina NC, Title ll State Director is a member of the NC Workforce Commission, NC’s state workforce board.  We meet quarterly and monthly in our respective committees. Title ll is on the Skills and Education Attainment Committee and is co-leading a subcommittee to review and assess NC Workforce Board’s, NC Certified Career Pathways. The goal is to align the NC Certified Career Pathways programs to work effectively across workforce partners. Work to date includes a review of outcomes and meetings with local workforce boards to gain an understanding of how the career pathways are accessed by job seekers and core partner participants.  In addition, the committee worked to secure a NC Evaluation grant to analyze data, outcomes and gaps.
Northern Mariana Islands State Leadership funds are extremely limited. Despite this obstacle, our office works closely with the CNMI Department of Labor/WIA and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.  We have an MOU outlining services to offer, such as assessment testing, career goal advising, and workplace skills training for their clients.  Our office is familiar with our core partners' staff and works closely together with them to share data Due to the pandemic, our office was not able to complete the Virtual One-Stop System (VOS) training.  A team, however, plans to attend a training to be held in October 2022.  This will help us to link our system with WIA/Labor to streamline data sharing, client services, and reporting requirements.
Ohio The AEFLA, known as Aspire Adult Workforce Readiness Education in Ohio had a former program manager directly supervise all state leadership activities to ensure alignment with the Combined State Plan activities with assistance from the former state director. The journey with WIOA implementation started robustly in Ohio in 2017. Ohio Aspire invested ample time and state leadership dollars to train teachers and administrators on implementing career pathways. Much of the training involved creating and executing a local career pathways plan, which requires collaborative services with WIOA partners, other educational institutions, and businesses. The local career pathway plans are supposed to be fluid documents that are updated throughout the year but with the changes in on-boarding new Aspire programs and a large amount of administrator and staff turnover at the local levels, career pathway plans have not been sustained.  Ohio continued to expand IET offerings in PY 2021.  In addition to the number of models that increased, Ohio also saw an increase in the number of programs that offered some type of IET model. There were 16 programs that had section 243 funds, offering a pipeline to IELCE students to participate in an IET.   Ohio’s goal with the creation of IETs is to help Aspire ABE/ASE/ESOL students at all levels achieve credentials and transition to additional training and employment.  Ohio aims to serve the most in need populations with IETs including low level students, refugees, and students in corrections.    In 2021, Ohio Aspire offered approximately 100 IET models, virtually and in-person, emphasizing alignment with local workforce plans and needs of community businesses. Approximately 25 Aspire programs had some type of class held at a local one-stop center representing approximately 55 classes being offered at one-stop centers. Referrals from the one-stops and to the one-stops continue. Aspire programs may offer student assessments, in person or virtually, for partner programs.
Oklahoma To ensure alignment of adult education and literacy activities with other one-stop required partners, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE) state staff participated on several committees. Their participation included the System Oversight Subcommittee (SOS). This subcommittee met regularly to develop strategies that support and promote the alignment of workforce system partners. SOS was comprised of state-level partners for the purposes of system evaluation, improvement, and policy development.  The members worked through a task force model to include the input of subject matter experts and local area perspectives including ODCTE state staff.  Workforce partners convened regularly through local One-Stop Operator partner meetings, focus groups, task forces, etc. State staff joined these meetings when they were available. Coordination across agencies and programs prevented isolated and/or duplicated services.  As duplicate services were discovered through continued partnership and communication, agencies and programs identified more opportunities to align. Workforce partner organizations at the state and local levels coordinated and convened for monthly conference planning.  ODCTE state staff participated in these committee meetings to assist with the development of the annual Oklahoma Works Partner’s Conference. This conference provided opportunities to improve student performance outcomes, increase partner collaboration, and alignment of services. The WIOA Data Committee met throughout the year and included a state staff member. This committee specialized in data collection and data analysis. During meetings committee members discussed ways to use data to improve state and student performance outcomes.
Oregon The Oregon State Adult Basic Skills (ABS) Director actively participates in the Governor’s Workforce System Executive Team (WSET). The work of the WSET is directed and supported by the Oregon Workforce Cabinet and the Governor’s Office. The WSET supports the Workforce Cabinet and the Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board to implement the alignment of workforce investment, education and economic development system. The WSET provides joint guidance and criteria for the integration of the workforce system, commits resources for system priorities and makes recommendations to agency leadership on policies, programs and funding priorities. The State ABS Director remains actively engaged in Oregon’s workforce system discussions.  In partnership with the WSET and local workforce board directors, the State ABS Team continues to provide technical assistance for the field regarding the implementation of the WIOA Memorandums of Understanding and Infrastructure Cost Sharing Agreements. The Oregon ABS Team continues to be actively engaged in the implementation of the State of Oregon’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act plan. This continued collaboration has led to a renewed focus on the role adult education plays in workforce development and career technical education pathways. Efforts continue at the local level to support these important transitional education points.  The ABS State Director also meets on a regular basis with the State Directors of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I, Career and Technical Education, and state apprenticeship leaders. The purpose of the group is to work on alignment in key areas such as adult education and training, work-based learning, and apprenticeship. The Oregon Council of Adult Basic Skills Development (OCABSD) meets quarterly. A portion of these meetings are dedicated to understanding WIOA performance requirements, Integrated Education and Training (IET), Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE), and how to engage workforce partners in these areas. These meetings are traditionally held in person over a two to three day period. However, as a result of the pandemic and corresponding Governor Executive Orders, all “in-person” meeting formats were canceled and transitioned to an online and virtual format. In the late spring of 2022, the State of Oregon began to allow employees to travel to meetings. As a result, the OCABSD meetings have moved to a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and virtual participation. The State ABS Team remains actively engaged in collaboration and partnership with the OCABSD.  During the 2021-2022 program year, the State ABS Team regularly engaged adult education and literacy providers in the implementation of WIOA and continued to support discussion and information dissemination with state adult education and literacy providers. Dissemination included providing state plan implementation updates during quarterly OCABSD meetings and continued distribution of the newsletter titled “T2 News” which includes updates regarding training and technical assistance opportunities at both state and national levels.  OCABSD members discussed state and local planning, sharing perspectives on alignment with learning standards, program delivery, and data policies.The State ABS Team prioritized state leadership funding to support projects that advanced WIOA implementation, such as the creation of materials to support the implementation of  the Oregon Adult English Language Proficiency Standards (OAELPS) and the implementation of Adult College and Career Readiness Standards (OACCRS). In addition, the team provided training to local providers on the importance of measurable skill gains and their effects on future funding at both the state and local levels. Furthermore, in an effort to continue to improve MSG performance, the State ABS Team contracted with a local provider to implement an online proctoring system. This initiative responds to feedback from programs who are facing assessment challenges by providing them the ability to test their students remotely.
Puerto Rico The Puerto Rico Department of Education of Puerto Rico (PRDE) developed during the fiscal year 2021-2022 several strategies to align adult education and literacy activities with the WIOA core programs and one-stop partners. The staff of the Adult Education Program (AEP) participated actively in the following activities to coordinate services: 1.     Negotiation of the new memorandum of understanding with core WIOA partners – American Job Centers for services and shared infrastructure costs. 2.     Implementation updates of the distance learning strategy for adult participants under the continued COVID pandemic situation.  An investment approximately of $10 million in technology equipment for adult education centers, including teachers, centers directors, staff and students, to boost distance education. 3.     Acquisition and implementation of 12 Thinking Labs to foster critical thinking actitude in students. 4.     Promotion referrals between the Adult Education Program and the American Job Centers One-stop programs. 5.     Develop joint efforts to comply with the primary performance indicators and objectives established in the PR Unified State Plan. 6.     Professional development activities to eligible training services providers in the development of integrated education and training activities (IET) as per a requirement in the new Unified Plan for the 2020-2023 program year’s period. a.     Visits to 41 local service providers to provide technical assistance in career pathways, soft skills and employability skills b.     Eleven (11) Workshops on career pathways, participants follow-up, STEM to counselors, academic facilitators and staff with 583 participants 7.     Development of professional development training in career pathways plans development for use by the eligible service providers’ education centers. a.     Development of a career pathways plan for 51 education centers. b.     A monitoring/follow-up questionnaire implementation to 42 counselors on the implementation of career pathways c.     Summit meeting to delivery of training certificates as career pathways specialist endorsed by Ohio State University school of Continuing Education for 107 teachers, counselors, education centers directors and staff During the 2022 PY face-to-face activities of some centers were completely resumed, The AEP used, during the PY State Leadership funds to continue promoting professional development for virtual delivery and to provide training on high-quality distance learning including professional development for remote instruction and administering remote assessments.   During the PY 2022 the Department continued implementing efforts to institutionalize working remotely using electronic tools to offer the educational and support services to the participants. During the program year the AEP continued offering training to center directors and teachers to use the MS TEAMS, platform to continue classes through distance education where necessary. The AEP continued making investment on technology to provide laptop to participants to make accessible the virtual platforms to them.   The Program switched efforts to implement CASAS paper and virtual testing for pre and post-test and training staff as virtual testing administrators CASAS tests as innovative solutions to eligibility determination and conducting assessments.
South Carolina Alignment of Adult Education and Literacy Activities The South Carolina Department of Education’s (SCDE) Office of Adult Education (OAE) has used funds made available under section 223 to work diligently and collaboratively to align adult education and literacy activities with core and required one-stop partners in the following ways: During FY 2021-22, OAE staff continued to review and provide support to local adult education programs in their efforts to develop fully executed MOUs and infrastructure funding agreements for all twelve local workforce development areas. The OAE assisted programs in the negotiation process and provided guidance on services that can be rendered and received through the one-stop system. Office staff also worked to ensure that one-stop infrastructure costs were distributed fairly. OAE staff continues to work with 12 local Adult Education Directors (one from each of the 12 local workforce areas) identified as Workforce Liaisons. The Workforce Liaisons are members of their respective Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB). Meetings between this group and OAE staff were held to keep the OAE apprised of LWDB activity and plans, in order to improve the services being provided to individuals in SC, and to determine where workplace literacy activity may be needed to assist employers. The OAE continues to participate in collaborative planning activities and workgroups comprised of representatives from each of the core partners identified in the State Combined Plan. The partners are SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), SC Commission for the Blind, SC Department of Social Services, SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) and the SC Commission on Aging. During PY 21, OAE worked with SCDEW and other state partners to address employer needs for job retention surrounding essential soft skills. During these meetings core program providers agreed on a set of essential soft skills and measurement criteria needed to develop and market a SC Soft Skills credential that is recognized by employers in the state. The activities and services related to essential soft skills training and a state-recognized credential help to support employer and jobseeker needs. Adult Education providers delivered soft skills training to 1,142 participants. By aligning with this initiative, OAE hopes to improve WIOA employment outcomes for individuals served by Title II, and participants and individuals who are co-enrolled in Title I, Title III, and Title IV programs. The Office of Adult Education also helped to support the alignment of adult education programs and services with WIOA Title I and III through employer engagement and services meetings. OAE collected data from local programs on appropriate adult education services that support employer needs. The data was used report data for WIOA Performance Measure 6: Effectiveness in Serving Employers. Adult education providers served 453 employers during the 2021-22 PY.  The OAE continued its effort to develop and be a part of partnership efforts to establish career pathways that provide access to employment and training services for individuals in adult education and literacy activities. During PY 21, the OAE provided training to local adult education programs on career pathways. OAE provided technical assistance in the development of IET programs. OAE also worked to create links to existing career pathways through a partnership with SC Technical College System (SCTCS). In this partnership, OAE and SCTCS worked to identify ways to provide access and support to adult education students transitioning to postsecondary education training programs. These activities also include recruitment of adult education students to Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs). OAE is a primary partner in three DOL grants for RAPs with SCTCS Apprenticeship Carolina Division- SC Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Initiative Grant, and State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant. The grant activities include the development or expansion of career pathways in the Health Care, Manufacturing, and Information Technology industries which targeted the development of RAPs in three SC high-demand Workforce Development Regions and the provision of support services to individual participants and business affected by COVID closures. OAE activities in the apprenticeship grants include the development of Apprenticeship Councils in three Workforce Development Regions and the alignment of WIOA, OAE, DOL and SCTCS policies to create greater access to RAPs for adult education participants and to support students in the completion of RAPs. Local programs are monitored on the development of their career pathways and are required to outline or describe their plan for developing a career pathway as a part of the request for proposal/competitive grant award. OAE uses the LACES database to monitor local career pathway activities using College and Career Navigator Accountability Report (CNAR) codes. The OAE sustained a collaborative effort with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Department, a core WIOA partner, to provide Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) preparation classes and skill-building classes at 22 VR training centers or adult education sites around the state.  As a part of the partnership, Adult Education offered instruction in preparation for earning the CRC. During the 2021-22 PY, 75 students attended CRC preparation and skill-building classes at VR adult education sites. Of the total population served, 69% of participants achieved a Silver or higher CRC level and 64% achieved at least one educational functioning level gain. Another successful partnership is with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS). SCDSS administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E & T) initiative. The OAE signed an updated MOU with SCDSS in summer 2020. This MOU, which provides additional funds from SCDSS, allows local adult education providers to expand adult education services. In addition, the Director of the OAE serves as a member of the State Workforce Development Board and career pathway development workgroup committee member. His participation on the state board further facilitates alignment of adult education and literacy activities with other required one-stop partners. Both the State Board and workgroup subcommittee members meet on a quarterly basis.
South Dakota With a total State Leadership budget of approximately $162,000.00, South Dakota worked diligently throughout Program Year 2021 to provide appropriate guidance and to deliver high-quality professional development.  In accordance with Section 223 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, South Dakota expended Leadership monies for the following activities, programs, initiatives, and projects:
  • Partnered with WIOA Title I Adult and Youth to implement a collaborative service-delivery model called PREP: Participants Reaching Employment Potential; this initiative was designed to provide more wraparound supports and some type of Work Experience for those seeking a High School Equivalency
  • Spurred dialogues with DLR Central Office staff (WIOA Titles I – III) and Executive Team supervisors on topics related to WIOA Joint Rules, Joint Reporting, co-enrollment tracking, assessment of basic skills, and the NRS Narrative Descriptors
  • Participated in the state’s largest One-Stop Local Office’s Staff Meetings, monthly WIOA Core Program Meetings, and quarterly WIOA Community Partner Meetings
  • Provided One-Stop Local Offices with Adult Education, Distance Education, and High School Equivalency [preparation and testing] resources, guidance, and technical assistance
  • Partnered with agency’s Apprenticeship Program Specialists to support, in conjunction with two of the state’s technical colleges, an ESL Bridge to Healthcare and a Commercial Driver’s License Bridge; at this juncture, these efforts constitute pre-apprenticeship bridges
  • Extended programmatic overtures for coordination and invitations for professional development to Tribal Colleges, Job Corps, Statewide Association, and Literacy Councils
  • Contributed to the State’s Core Partner Alignment Consortium Meetings; these meetings included executive, programmatic, and data representatives from all WIOA Core Programs
  • Attended and supported South Dakota’s first WIOA Symposium, which was a statewide convening of programs, partners, and agencies to address the labor market and creative solutions to workforce challenges with data review, panel discussions, small-group conversations, and report-outs
Tennessee In PY21-22, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Adult Education (AE) team continued to expand the role of our regional education and workforce coordinators. These individuals continued to be instrumental in strengthening the alignment of the state’s AE program with workforce partners, particularly at the local level. They also assisted local AE programs with developing integrated education and training (IET) programming, pre-apprenticeships, workplace literacy programs, and dual-enrollment opportunities—all important aspects of the state’s WIOA plan. In addition, the coordinators helped local AE leaders understand and fulfill their roles and responsibilities as one-stop partners. With the help of the education and workforce coordinators, TDLWD accomplished the following:
  • Publication of a “Career Coach Guidance & Toolkit” document to be used by Career Coaches/Navigators at the local program level.  This document provides a one stop location for helpful tips, links, and guidance for Career Coaches.
  • Conducted a “Career Coach Alliance” in March 2022.  Two-day in person training for Career Coaches/Navigators.
  • Conducted site visits and other meetings with local AE providers to assess their current level of workforce development initiatives implementation and to establish goals to expand such initiatives.
  • Regularly attended local workforce development board and partner meetings to ensure AE providers were participating and that the program was advocated for.
  • Implemented soft skills and digital literacy curriculum in local AE programs more broadly.
TDLWD worked with local AE providers across Tennessee to develop several education-workforce initiatives. These included:
  • 3 additional pre-apprenticeship programs for a total of 5: one with a community college (Construction/Carpentry), one with a private company (Construction – Plumbing & Water System Supply), and one with the Healthcare Industry (Health Science – Direct Support Professional).
  • 11 additional integrated education and training programs for a total of 27, including partnerships with technical colleges, private companies, and healthcare providers. The training programs include construction, nursing, mechanical maintenance, administrative assisting, trucking, industrial readiness, welding, and HVAC/electrical/plumbing.  Three of these programs are offered in local jail facilities.
  • 5 existing workplace literacy programs, specifically for ESL learners. The partnered organizations include Tyson, Nashville State Community College, and OMI.  The outlook for an increase in workplace classes is good for PY 22.
  • 1 additional postsecondary dual enrollment programs for a total of four, in which students work on basic education and HiSET preparation in conjunction with their postsecondary courses. The programs include three different technical colleges, with students in various health care programs.
There were also several additional workforce development initiatives in the planning stages, which we hope will be implemented in the coming program year. We are also working on post-secondary prep as another initiative for Program Year 22-23.  We continue to see progress in implementing workforce initiatives across the state with more students taking advantage of them all the time.
Texas TWC AEL state staff participate in numerous events throughout the year to promote alignment with all WIOA core partners. TWC host two unique opportunities that gather all core partners’ administrative and frontline staff from Workforce Boards, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Adult Education to learn more about ongoing alignment strategies and services. In November 2021, TWC AEL participated in several sessions at the Annual Workforce Conference on how AEL and Workforce Boards can partner to create strong career pathways. One session titled “Career Pathways: Serving Priority Populations with your AEL Partner” focused on three objectives:
  •  Overview of career pathways under WIOA 
  • Identify three ways career pathways serve priority populations 
  • Outline referral and case management approaches that support customer success and program performance
Another session “WIOA Title I and Title II Partnerships: Building Quality Services for Low-Skilled Adults through Collaboration” focused on three objectives:
  • Understand the impact of basic skills deficiency on employers, the economy, and social services
  • Review Priority Populations for WIOA Title I and Title II programs
  • Describe strategies for collaboration that support customers across the Texas workforce system
In April 2022, TWC AEL and Workforce Board Strategies staff conducted a joint session at the TWC Workforce Forum on how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients can benefit from AEL services. The session was intended to highlight recent changes to state performance parameters to allow AEL services to count in performance accountability for local Workforce Boards and encourage referrals. Feedback received from session evaluations will support future co-developed technical assistance/trainings offered by TWC in coordination with core partners on the mutual benefits of services to encourage strong referral pipelines. TWC is considering future state leadership initiatives to create a “No Wrong Door” system that streamlines services across all partners. In the PY 20-21 narrative report, we identified the Career Pathways Professional Development Center (CPPDC) grant, which was procured in PY 20-21 using 223 funds. However, the actual work taking place through the CPPDC aligns with multiple required uses of state leadership funds. As such, we are including some important work that is happening through the CPPDC in this response as well. The CPPDC, supports professional development to improve the quality of career pathway models and AEL integration across WIOA Titles that serve priority populations. TWC needed to be responsive to the constant changes in leadership occurring with AEL providers and WIOA core partner staff to ensure that strong alignment could continue. We identified a need for sustainable capacity-building initiatives to support and maintain strong partnerships. Through cross-training of stakeholder groups such as AEL grantees, Boards, IHEs, and career and technical educational providers, the CPPDC grantee provides evidenced-based professional development to stakeholders on: •             AEL career pathways models, •             coenrollment across WIOA Titles, and •             strategies that support student success, system alignment, and improved performance outcomes. Over the course of PY21-22, the CPPDC began procurement and planning activities to roll out a Workforce Integration Academy. The Academy is designed as a multi-year cohort-based participant model wherein the focus for year one addresses the roles and responsibilities of system partners for integration through co-enrollment and referral processes for the alignment of services. AEL grantees will enroll in the year one cohort to grow capacity of AEL leaders as a core partner. Content related to shared infrastructure costs, career pathway goals and objectives for local Board areas, and defining and addressing the needs of priority populations at the local level across the Workforce system will be addressed. The subsequent years will include cohort participation from system partners to expand capacity across titles and further operationalize the alignment of system integration strategies. TWC continued to use 223 funds for  Accelerate Texas, an Integrated Education and Training (IET) initiative in which AEL participants are concurrently enrolled in workforce training and AEL services. The Accelerate Texas model is designed to develop and refine IET models being deployed statewide and track completion and placement into in-demand and targeted occupations. In PY’21, twelve (12) Accelerate Texas grants ended, and four new grants were procured and awarded in August 2021. This sixth iteration of Accelerate Texas focused on expanding priority populations served, deepening stakeholder engagement, and sharing replicable best practices. Grant recipients showcase best practices through various professional development and technical assistance events throughout the year. TWC approved two new projects in response to addressing a middle skills initiative that supports more individuals earning credentials of value for occupations in industries with high demand. Both projects support the attainment of foundational skills, expand IET models and support the delivery of integrated services that advance Texas’ statewide goals for system alignment. The two projects include a Pre-Apprenticeship Bridge Grant for the Building Trades and the Employer Engagement Project. The Pre-Apprenticeship Bridge Grant is a demonstration project of AEL collaboration with construction industry Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs.  TWC awarded one grant in the southeast Texas region to expand AEL partnerships with Registered Apprenticeship programs for electricians. The project is a collaboration with the local Workforce offices and AEL to increase the number of individuals that have sufficient basic skills to qualify for entry into the RA. The project is partnering on building a bridge program for an electrical RA for which services will begin in PY22-23.  The Employer Engagement Project is a demonstration project that focuses on partnerships with local, regional, or statewide employer or industry partners to develop curriculum and provide AEL services for incumbent workers. Three programs in partnership with manufacturing, logistics, and Information Technology employers were awarded grants in July 2022 to develop replicable curriculum for workplace literacy programs, IETs, and employer-based training with contextualized AEL. The curricula from these projects will be shared statewide through various PD events for use by other AEL providers wishing to expand workplace literacy services. Best practices for developing strategic partnerships with employers will also be showcased at events with core partners to highlight how AEL can support Workforce Boards’ work with employers seeking to upskill incumbent workers.
Virgin Islands The US Virgin Islands (USVI) State Office of Career, Technical & Adult Education (SOCTAE) is a voting member of the USVI’s Workforce Development Board as a WIOA core program and required One-Stop delivery system partner in collaboration with the
  • USVI Department of Labor (VIDOL) - administers the Youth, the Adult program (Title I of WIOA), Dislocated Worker (Title I) and Wagner-Peyser programs (Title III),
  • USVI Department of Human Services (VIDHS) - administers the Vocational Rehabilitation program (Title IV).
The SOCTAE collaborated with the core program partners to assist adults with increasing their literacy skills, attaining a high school diploma, or its equivalent and transitioning to post-secondary, or obtaining national industry recognized training and credentialing and transitioning to the workforce. During this reporting period, the core partners collaborated via monthly meetings on the WIOA Combined Plan to discuss identified challenges of the USVI’s workforce and develop innovative practices for plan implementation through strengthening of partnerships. The following topics were discussed:
  • COVID 19 Pandemic Session
  • Discussions on One Stop: VIDOL Re-opened to serve customers/ One Stop Services by appointment only and utilizing virtual platforms
  • Participation in Virtual Career Fair held by St. Croix Adult Education Sub-Grantee
  • Technical Assistance Training re: MOU
  • Introduction of Equus Workforce Solutions/New One Stop Operator/
  • Navigating LinkedIn Learning via Equus Workforce Solutions
  • Governor’s Workforce Summit Planning
  • Core Partner Meeting /Equus Tools & Resources Showcase
As a result, smaller collaborative teams were formed to strategically plan individualized approaches for support and services for adults.  Two such partnerships of which SOCTAE is a member are the first annual Governor’s Workforce Summit (a committee of core partners convened weekly to plan the first annual summit to engage and inform adults of available services, recruit, train and offer adults sustainable wage job placement) and the Bureau of Corrections (BOC) Re-entry Action Group which convenes monthly to discuss re-entry strategies, educational training and job placement to lessen the impact of recidivism for parolees. Wrap around services were offered through the One-Stop, which is the hub for all employment and training related activities sought after by employers or job seekers. Adults had (and continue to have) access to career services that prepare them for the workforce; training services that helps them attain National credentialing in different skills and follow up services to assist with retention by ensuring that placements are successful and career goals are met. Services included job readiness workshops and seminars, individualized career counseling, job search matching and referrals. The One-Stop operates off of the premise that everyone who accesses the system is seeking employment (either first time, or advanced work opportunity). Adults enrolled in AEFLA funded programs are eligible for all services offered through the One-Stop. During the reporting period, adults who were unemployed, or under employed had access to all workforce preparedness and training services. Out of School Youth had access to fourteen (14) program elements designed to develop the whole person with wrap around services that are connected to career development goals. Adults who wanted to improve their literacy skills, or who were English Language Learners (ELLs), or wanted to obtain their high school diploma, or equivalent were referred to Adult Education services offered by VIDE Sub-grantees. Title III Wagner-Peyser programs administered by VIDOL assisted job seekers who were skilled and ready for work, or who had been in the workforce and sought employment change or advancement. Adults were able to prepare/update their resumes; attend in-house workshops and seminars designed to enhance work etiquette; attend short term pre-vocational activities to enhance specific skill sets such as computer literacy, communication skills and interviewing techniques. Title IV job seekers who, because of a disability needed additional assistance attaining employment completed assessments and interviewed with a Voc Rehab counselor to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP included: vocational counseling, guidance and referral to adult literacy programs; vocational training; transition services from school to work; rehabilitation technology services; supported employment; and job search and placement.
Washington In accordance with Section 223(1)(a) Washington State Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) and regional Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) developed a Shared Vision, Principles, and Goals of Collaboration Guidance document to guide the alignment of adult education and literacy activities with the one-stops. This document continues to guide all MOU and IFA development, revision, and implementation across all 12 workforce regions. In December 2021, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) met with the director of the Washington Workforce Association (WWA) representing the WDC directors across the state to clarify the roles, responsibilities, and timeline in the review of Title II AEFLA open and competitive Request for Applications 2022-27 applications. Feedback forms were developed and jointly agreed on and a conflict-of-interest agreement was completed for all reviewers. Applications were provided for review in February 2022. As a result, all Title II applications were approved for alignment with local industry sectors. Subsequent MOUs and collaborations continued throughout 2020-2021. All programs continued to contribute to Infrastructure Funding Agreements (IFAs), but due to Washington state’s cautious reopening following COVID19, the established Title II presence in WorkSource (one-stop) Centers across the state was still significantly reduced. SBCTC continued to work with Washington state’s Economic Development Department to provide WorkSource co-enrollment/proportional use data in support of state-wide IFA discussions and completions. While the pandemic closures continued to complicate Washington’s cross-agency collaborations, the following are examples from the past year:
  • Wenatchee Valley College, operating in rural northcentral Washington, works in collaboration with their WDC to offer adult basic education instruction at the local one-stop center.
  • North Seattle College hosts a Seattle/King County WorkSource affiliate site on their campus and their Dean of Transitional Studies has moved into the role of WIOA Title II representative for the region assisting in coordinating partner efforts.
  • Workforce Central, the WDC in Pierce County, continues to fund a navigator position focused on the recruitment of Title II students. The navigator works at the five Title II providers in the county with the primary function of recruiting students for Title II programs, Workforce Central funds the position. This strategy is viewed as a best practice, and is working so well the WDC expanded this model adding a navigator to specifically recruit opportunity youth students.
Wisconsin   Figure 1. Wisconsin WIOA Joint Operations Committee Structure   The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) guides states to coordinate services and resources among WIOA partners. Additionally, the Act requires the use of labor market data and industry research to determine which skills the workforce needs and to focus on the creation of a workforce that can meet the expectations of the future economy. Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) have a strong tradition of partnership to support and grow Wisconsin's workforce. This historical collaboration has established a foundation for WIOA success. Three new partners have joined the program year 2020-2023 WIOA Combined State Plan, including the Department of Children and Families (W-2), the Department of Health Services (SNAP E&T), and the Department of Corrections (Reentry). The addition of these partners has led to a reconfiguration of the Wisconsin WIOA leadership structure to ensure that new partners have effective representation supportive of a coordinated education and workforce system. Figure 1 presents the Wisconsin WIOA Joint Operations Committee Structure.   The 2020-2023 WIOA Combined State Plan was jointly developed by a state interagency team, which is comprised of leadership from all of Wisconsin's WIOA partners. The strategic and operational planning elements were written with input from and approval by WIOA leadership, while Title partner-specific requirements were written by each Title partner and shared with WIOA leadership for discussion. The various WIOA Joint Operations Committees meet throughout the implementation of WIOA to coordinate Title partner alignment. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Wisconsin AEFLA transformed to meet the needs of our providers -- establishing a Microsoft TEAMS virtual environment and communication tool. The WTCS also used multiple inputs to help guide provider support, including student-level data analysis, monitoring activities, and additional surveys/discussions with the field.  This work – begun at the beginning of the pandemic – continued through the 2021-2022 program year, with the WTCS continuing to utilize AEFLA resources to support Adult Education and workforce providers in performing their duties as One-Stop partners.  Even as we emerged from the worst of the pandemic, we continued to rely on 1) several series of agency-level virtual meetings to address WIOA inter-Title communication and outreach strategies, improve website resources, improve data visualization, etc., and 2) several additional series of virtual meetings to work directly with AEFLA-funded providers.  These   latter meetings were primarily used to discuss post-COVID-19 response strategies and promising practices for improving instruction, improving assessment and MSG capture, and improving the transitioning of adult education learners into the workforce and/or into postsecondary occupational instruction. Emphasis was placed on the importance of WIOA partnership through co-case management and referrals to ensure all learners receive the supports needed to be successful. Additionally, the WTCS collaborated with WIOA partners to begin deeper development of accountability metrics for the current and future WIOA state plan, cooperated on supporting cross-title staff development at the statewide Department of Vocational Rehab Conference, and cooperated on a Title II-led virtual conference that served literacy and workforce partners in technical colleges, correctional institutions, community-based organizations, and workforce development partner agencies.   To further support the alignment of Title II with One-Stop operations and partners, the WTCS continued to engage in the Wisconsin Job Center Task Force for Effective Program Coordination. The task force has three primary objectives that include:
  • To assess the current state of the Wisconsin Job Center system and bring forth recommendations for future improvements by investigating best practices and recommending actions and policies;
  • Leverage statewide workforce and work support programs through effective use of physical locations, staff, joint policies/guidelines, technology, and resource sharing including identifying gaps; and
  • Evaluate funding sources and ways to leverage resources to support a seamless and comprehensive delivery of services to customers that leads to improved employment and training outcomes.
The task force was established during the 2020-21 program year and has representation from all WIOA partners. During the 2021-22 year, the task force continued to identify a series of professional development needs to strengthen alignment across WIOA partners, including strengthening the field’s understanding of WIOA opportunities and obligations, and enhancing strategic operations of the One-Stop system. In addition, the WTCS has been engaged in the Wisconsin Job Center re-branding project and has encouraged active representation by Title II grantees in all aspects of this work.
Wyoming Each year the adult education programs in Wyoming are required to align their programming activities to not only the goals outlined in the Unified State Plan, but also to at least one statewide initiative outlined in the State Plan. For FY 21/22, the State established two goals for local providers that were directly related to at least one of the goals outlined in the Unified State Plan and to a statewide goal outlined by the State's Educational Attainment Committee. Goal 1: By June 30, 2022, the State will have 15% of qualified Adult Education students engaged in career pathways aligned programs incorporating digital literacy for credential attainment or enrollment in postsecondary/ training so that participants have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. By the end of the fiscal year, the State had surpassed this goal as nearly 41% of qualified Adult Education students had completed a career services course which placed them along an identified career pathways track and by years end many had enrolled in postsecondary education and/or earned a credential. In addition, modifications to local curricula saw the integration of digital literacy at all adult education centers through such means as the purchase of specialized software programs or the incorporation of home grown digital literacy instructional curricula. Goal 2: By June 30, 2022, the State will have 20% of all qualified ‘youth’ co-enrolled with WIOA core partner programs and engaged in a career pathways system that advances participation in employment, postsecondary enrollments and/or participation in (pre) apprenticeships, internships, and work experience programs. In order to meet this goal, the State AE office began to require that a Referral form be completed for all qualified youth. The intent of the Referral form was to not only make referrals to WIOA core partners, but also to other community service providers for complete wrap around services for the participant. Throughout the year, the AE programs in Wyoming enrolled 939 ‘qualified’ youth and a total of 662 referrals were made. In conjunction with the new referral system, the State AE office collaborated with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services to create a co-enrolled ‘youth’ program. Through a coordinated review and evaluation of programmatic data for Adult Education and the Wyoming Workforce Centers, it was determined that there existed a great opportunity to co-enroll increasing numbers of youth. Throughout the State large numbers of out of school youth, aged 16-24 were enrolling in Adult Education programs; yet these participants were not taking advantage of the services which could be provided by Title I: Youth and/or Title III: Wagner Peyser. As a result, a new contractual joint program was launched to target out of school youth and required that qualified students be co-enrolled so that effective services could be delivered by both Title I and Title II. Multiple coordinated joint trainings were done throughout the year for such things as tracking progress made by participants, financial aspects, and overall program management. Once these two new systems were in place, the State began a data match system with the WIOA core partners to identify all participants who were co-enrolled. This was monitored and tracked on the LACES database for Adult Education. From the 622 referrals Adult Education programs made to various community service providers, nearly 40% of all qualified youth were co-enrolled in WIOA core programs by the end of the fiscal year; thereby meeting Goal #2. The Adult Education program in Wyoming also identified a conceptual weakness in developing programming for Integrated Education and Training programs (IET). Through discussions with local providers and through evaluations of the types of courses offered by the local adult education centers, the State determined that there existed a great need for training on how to develop IET’s for frontier States as well as a need to find funding to supplement the training component of the IET. In order to address the professional development need, all local programs in the State were required to complete the federally supported IET Design Camp which was held in FY 21/22. The State then required that each local provider begin to develop an IET program in conjunction with the Wyoming Dept. of Workforce Service. Unfortunately, as of the time of this report this collaboration has not occurred due primarily to Workforce Service's lack of understanding of what IET’s are and how collaborative efforts can help participants meet individual goals. We are currently working on ideas to cross train our respective departments on the creation of IET’s. The secondary challenge associated with IET development in Wyoming stems from this State being a minimally funded State for Adult Education. Because efforts to implement the ‘Ability to Benefit’ clause in the State have not been successful, the State office for Adult Education is currently seeking ARPA funds to help fund the training component of these IET’s. We hope to implement this new program of study as soon as possible, if funded. Another area targeted for professional development in FY 21/22 was cross training of Adult Education directors and the Wyoming Workforce Center managers. In order to have an effective one-stop system in Wyoming it is critical that the core partners have a good understanding of the services available through the core partners. To this end, Adult Education and the Wyoming Dept. of Workforce Services held quarterly ‘Meet & Greets’ in a virtual setting. Each one of these were well attended and focused on differing topics. These ‘Meet & Greets’ have proven to be an extremely effective way to increase local level collaborative efforts among the WIOA core partners and will continue into the current fiscal year. The WIOA core partners continued to work closely with the Wyoming Workforce Development Council, the State WIB, to sustain and promote growth for the Next Generation Sector Partnership models in manufacturing, healthcare, and construction & trades. Regular meetings were held throughout the year by local Next Gen. teams to provide leadership and guidance, but more importantly to help identify industry sectors most ‘in need’ around the State. Adult Education centers throughout Wyoming relied heavily on information coming from these local Next Gen teams to continue to develop stackable credential pathways from high school and HSEC to two-year degree programs and beyond as well as in planning for the development of pre-apprenticeship programs in manufacturing and in various health professions. And finally, after nearly ten years of meetings and a coordination of efforts, our local adult education center which serves the Shoshone and Arapaho nations signed an MOU for the delivery of Adult Education services on the reservation