Adult Education: Improving Rhode Island's Workforce

Essential Question:
What is Adult Education's role in helping Rhode Island's workforce compete more effectively?

This story examines the potential role of Adult Education in increasing the competitiveness of the workforce in RI, which continues to face one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.

Take-aways and Recommendations:

• Adult Education is measured and shows positive results. And it is a more cost-effective path to move to higher education than remedial/non-credit bearing courses at colleges.

• Even underfunded, RI's Adult Education system is functioning well and improving -- for the learners it's able to serve. But meeting demand is impossible without adequate funding.

• The "skills gap" in RI is real, but the gap primarily has to do with a lack of basic skills.

• Demand for Adult Basic Education would be lower if the state’s K-12 public schools could ensure that many more of their students had strong foundational skills grades 1-8.

• The characteristics of the large cohort of young people in ABE require further study.

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