Creating Opportunities for Washington's Emerging Workforce
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Goals for the Adult Basic Education System
Washington state’s workforce is on the verge of crisis. Just as companies need workers with higher and higher levels of skills, knowledge and creativity, well-educated baby boomers are retiring. More people entering the workforce lack high school diplomas and English language and literacy skills. That leaves the state’s employers without the workers they need to compete in the global marketplace.
At the same time, the fastest growing populations in Washington state also face crisis. One in six adults needs additional education and training, but only about 5% are able to be served each year. Under-prepared adults struggle to find and keep jobs that pay a living wage. The knowledge and skills demands of the economy increasingly divide the haves and have nots. Workers, employers, families and communities pay a high price for the widening gap.
The adult basic education system has the ability to help divert this crisis.
Creating Opportunities for Washington’s Emerging Workforce defines three goals
for the adult basic education system from 2005-2010:
- Increase the number of people in adult basic education programs
- Help more people reach their educational goals
of the importance of this education.
The payoffs for meeting theses goals are sizeable: more competitive employers, a more prosperous state, stable communities with lower social service costs, and stronger families for our future.