All Featured Highlights
Dec 22, 2014
| Evelyn Ganzglass
U.S. Lags in Key Skills; New Adult Literacy Resources Available
PIAAC creates a website with a variety of U.S. and international materials, including a newly released PIAAC Outreach Toolkit that can be used to build awareness about the study’s results and why they matter for low-skilled adults.
Oct 22, 2014
| Judy Mortrude and Manuela Ekowo
A Coming of Age Story for Career Pathways
WIOA provides a comprehensive definition of a career pathway program and signals the move toward career pathway system building. However, new and existing partnerships may still wonder what exactly is meant by “career pathways.”
Oct 02, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo
OCTAE Provides a “One-Stop” Shop for Career Pathways Resources
OCTAE in the U.S. Department of Education launched a new initiative earlier this year to provide numerous valuable resources that can benefit practitioners, policymakers, administrators, funders, and others develop career pathways.
- Sep 29, 2014 | Kisha Bird, Marcie Foster, and Evelyn Ganzglass WIOA Creates New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults CLASP's summary of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) focuses on opportunities for improving services to low-income youth and adults under Title I and Title II.
- Sep 02, 2014 | Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Helly Lee SNAP E&T Pilots An update of innovative SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) strategies in up to 10 states designed to help SNAP recipients get into the workforce, increase their earnings, and ultimately reduce their SNAP participation.
Aug 18, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo
HPOG’s Year Three Annual Report Highlights Success Preparing Low-Income Individuals for Health Professions
HPOG’s recently released Year Three Annual Report highlights the success to date of HPOG career pathway programs in educating and training low-income, lower-skilled adults for health professions.
Aug 04, 2014
| Evelyn Ganzglass
Federal Competency-Based Education Experiments Can Help Low-Income Students Obtain Valuable Postsecondary Credentials
On July 31, the US Department of Education issued an invitation to postsecondary institutions to participate in experiments designed to test three competency-based approaches to improve student outcomes under the federal financial aid.
Jul 16, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz
CLASP to Present at Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century Conference
Vickie Choitz, CLASP’s senior policy analyst and director of the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, will speak at a workshop on emerging strategies that are transforming how individuals are educated and trained.
Jul 10, 2014
| Kisha Bird and Marcie Foster
Congress Revitalizes Job Training and Workforce Development Programs with the Passage of WIOA
We applaud Congress for taking this important first step to create a workforce development system that better enables states and communities to meet the needs of low-income workers by improving connections to employment and training opportunities that will lead to economic prosperity for themselves and their families.
- Jul 01, 2014 Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0 CLASP and Alliance partners jointly created and provided consensus support for Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems.
- Jul 01, 2014 | Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz Defining, Strengthening, and Measuring Quality Career Pathways and Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Releases Framework CLASP and Alliance partners jointly created and provided consensus support for Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems.
Jun 17, 2014
| Katherine Saunders and Marcie Foster
Senate Subcommittee Continues Investments to Keep College Affordable for Low-Income Students
Recently, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up a bill would continue funding for financial aid programs that make college possible for low-income and underprepared students.
Jun 12, 2014
| Vickie Choitz
CLASP Provides Leadership in Building a Shared Vision and Knowledge Base for Career Pathways
CLASP commends the Obama Administration and the departments for their leadership and commitment to career pathways and was pleased to submit a response to the RFI.
Jun 12, 2014
| Vickie Choitz, Tim Harmon, Evelyn Ganzglass, and Neil Ridley
Response to the Federal Request for Information on Adoption of Career Pathways Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services
CLASP commends the Obama Administration and the departments for their leadership and commitment to career pathways and was pleased to submit a response to the RFI.
- Jun 10, 2014 | Marcie Foster and Evelyn Ganzglass Where Community Colleges and Workforce Development Meet CLASP featured in New Volume on Sector Strategies by the Aspen Institute. CLASP experts contributed a chapter to the volume, which focuses on the role of community colleges in the sector strategies and career pathways movement.
May 23, 2014
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) a Critical Step Forward for U.S. Workers
CLASP supports the proposed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—a bipartisan House-Senate effort to reauthorize the nation’s workforce development and adult education programs. At a time of sustained unemployment in many communities, these programs are designed to help young people and adult workers prepare for work or further education, find jobs, and build the skills employers need. The Workforce Investment Act, which WIOA would replace, was enacted in 1998.
Apr 23, 2014
| Vickie Choitz and Manuela Ekowo
Your Chance to Weigh In: Federal Agencies Release Request for Information on Career Pathway Systems
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL) have released a request for information (RFI) on career pathway systems to gather information on effective career pathways, practices, and policies; federal policy barriers to implementing and sustaining them; and ways the federal agencies can better support state and local/regional partners adopting this approach.
Mar 07, 2014
| Neil Ridley
President’s Budget Calls for New Investments in Workforce and Basic Skills Services
President Obama’s FY 2015 budget released on Tuesday calls for new investments that prepare workers for jobs in demand and put unemployed people back to work. The proposal comes at a time of weak job growth, with the national unemployment rate still above 6 percent.
Feb 13, 2014
| Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz
From Adult Education to College: Success Factors, Challenges, and Tools
MDRC's report, Beyond the GED, provides a snapshot of innovative adult education programs and the challenges involved in helping high school dropouts acquire a GED and gain postsecondary credentials.
- Nov 07, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Kisha Bird Nearly One in Five Americans Has Low Basic Skills, but Solutions Exist to Strengthen America's Workforce Literacy, Numeracy, and Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments Among U.S. Adults: First Look examines basic skills by demographic and other socioeconomic factors, including race, educational attainment, foreign status, and age. This critical information will enable us to design smarter, more effective policy solutions that improve the skills of America's adults and youth.
- Nov 07, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Kisha Bird From PIAAC to Policy Solutions: Promoting Postsecondary and Economic Success for Low-Skilled Workers A just-released international assessment of adult skills, the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) shows that a large portion of the U.S. population has low skills, impeding their ability to achieve economic success and build stronger families. Findings illuminate that the U.S. continues to struggle with improving the skills of our nation's adult workforce, particularly among disadvantaged and minority workers.
- Nov 04, 2013 | Neil Ridley Shutdown, Sequester Hit Workforce Programs In addition to the economic costs, the shutdown affected workforce programs that help people prepare for work, find jobs and build the skills they need to compete in a tough job market.
- Oct 17, 2013 | Vickie Choitz CLASP and Greater Twin Cities United Way to host forum on Career Pathways On November 7, CLASP will be participating in Strengthening Your Career Pathways Systems: Tools, Tips and Tactics in St. Paul, Minnesota. The forum is hosted by Greater Twin Cities United Way and sponsored by CLASP. The day-long event will feature local, state, and national leaders committed to supporting career pathways.
- Oct 09, 2013 | Marcie Foster and Janne Huang U.S. Workers Lagging Behind on Basic Skills The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its world report of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), comparing the skill levels of adult workers across 24 developed countries. The report reveals that the U.S. is lagging behind other nations and must do more to strengthen skills development systems and boost economic opportunity for America's workers.
- Oct 01, 2013 | Vickie Choitz and Manuela Ekowo 90 Days Left! CLASP Welcomes Your Feedback on the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Beta Framework CLASP and the Alliance partners are collecting feedback on the Beta Framework until December 31, 2013; there are 90 days left to submit feedback on the criteria, indicators, and shared metrics to email@example.com. Our Alliance partners are in the process of reviewing the framework with key stakeholders, practitioners, and community leaders, as well as field-testing it in their states.
- Aug 28, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Building the Middle Class with Better Skills and Wages: Who Would be Helped by Stronger Pathways? The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) and CLASP have developed profiles of adult workers in every state who are in need of better skills and wages. Each state profile estimates the number of adult workers (ages 25-64) who are without two or four-year college degrees or have limited English skills and who earn less than the state median wage or are in the labor force but have not worked for the last year. The data sheets show the employment status, education level, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and English language proficiency of these workers and whether they earn above or below poverty-level wages.
- Jul 23, 2013 | Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success "Beta" Framework Details Criteria, Indicators, and Shared Metrics for High-Quality Career Pathway Systems
- Apr 12, 2013 | Neil Ridley President's Budget Calls for Pathways Back to Work Fund The President's budget blueprint released on Wednesday calls for Congress to support employment and job training opportunities for the long-term unemployed and low-income adults and youth through the Pathways Back to Work Fund. Even as the economy recovers, too many unemployed workers and individuals with low education and skill levels face a difficult job market. This legislative proposal, which was introduced as part of the American Jobs Act, builds on the successful, two-year program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provided jobs for about 260,000 people in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
- Mar 12, 2013 | Marcie W.M. Foster New York's Move to Abandon the GED\xc2\xae is a Game Changer New York State made headlines last week after it announced it would be dropping the GED\xc2\xae as its high school equivalency exam--a move that can only be defined as a "game changer" in adult education. Instead, the state will be working with CTB/McGraw Hill to develop an alternative exam, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), which New York believes will keep costs low and allow its Education Department to continue to serve adults and youth seeking to earn a high school equivalency diploma and gain greater economic mobility. New York's shift to the TASC is one of the most significant developments in adult education in decades. Since 1942, the GED\xc2\xae has been synonymous with high school equivalency in the U.S. and widely recognized by potential candidates, employers, and postsecondary institutions.
- Mar 12, 2013 | Neil Ridley, Kisha Bird, and Marcie W.M. Foster House Workforce Bill Moves Forward Amid Rising Tensions Last week the House Education and Workforce Committee voted to advance a bill that restructures a range of federal workforce programs, including the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Tensions ran high during the legislative mark-up session and the hearing that preceded it, signaling a decline in the bipartisan spirit that has animated most reauthorization efforts in the past.
- Feb 14, 2013 | Vickie Choitz, Marcie W.M. Foster, and Patrick Reimherr Career Pathways Take the Next Step toward Quality and Scale Over the last decade, career pathways have evolved as an innovative approach to assist individuals in gaining marketable credentials and good jobs and to help employers access a skilled workforce. Postsecondary credentials (including both marketable noncredit, industry-based credentials such as Certified Manufacturing Technologist or Wind Turbine Technician and more traditional two- and four-year degrees) can be an avenue out of poverty and a lifetime of low-wage work. However, the nation's education and workforce development systems have not been designed to provide all workers with a seamless path to earning these credentials.
- Jul 17, 2012 | Marcie W.M. Foster CLASP and Ten States Partner in New Alliance to Define Quality Career Pathways
- Jun 29, 2012 | Marcie Foster with Lennox McLendon Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a Survey of State Adult Education Tuition and Financing Policies At no time in recent history has the importance of adult education been greater and the funding more threatened. Despite the fact that at least 93 million adults in the U.S. may need basic skills services to improve their economic prospects, funding for these services is stagnating at the federal level and being slashed in statehouses and state agencies across the country. Demand remains high, with at least 160,000 people on waiting lists that exist in nearly every state. To begin the conversation about how to meet existing and emerging needs with shrinking resources, CLASP and the National Council for State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) surveyed state directors of adult education in February 2012. The goal was to glean information about important policies that govern the way adult education is funded, including the costs borne by local districts, community colleges, and other providers and by the states, the federal government, and students.
- Apr 24, 2012 | Marcie Foster Refocusing Adult Education on Career and Postsecondary Success Two proposals to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) are in the House of Representatives. Both proposals reflect a priority of greater alignment among adult education (Title II), workforce development (Title I), and postsecondary education, and both increase the focus on preparing adult students not just to earn a secondary school diploma but for college and careers. Despite these similarities, the bills differ across several dimensions. This analysis highlights key provisions in each bill that strengthen or weaken the overall goal of refocusing Title II on career and postsecondary success.
- Apr 16, 2012 | Evelyn Ganzglass and Neil Ridley Reauthorizing WIA: The House Workforce Block Grant Heads in the Wrong Direction On March 29, 2012, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Joseph J. Heck and Rep. Howard P. McKeon introduced a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4297). To help advocates and stakeholders, CLASP has developed a set of criteria for evaluating this bill and other proposals that consolidate programs offering workforce services to low-income families and individuals. In applying these criteria to H.R. 4297, CLASP finds that the bill fails on most counts.
- Apr 09, 2012 | Neil Ridley and Evelyn Ganzglass A Litmus for Legislation: Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Restructure Federal Workforce Programs During the past year, a number of bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to reduce the number of federal workforce programs, consolidate programs in some cases and to improve the efficiency of the workforce system. CLASP recognizes the need for a more coherent and effective workforce development system. However, it is wrong to assume that the federal government's support of multiple workforce programs necessarily amounts to or results in duplicative services. To help advocates and other stakeholders, CLASP has developed a set of criteria with which to evaluate proposals that consolidate or restructure programs offering workforce services to low-income families and individuals.
- Feb 01, 2012 | Neil Ridley and Marcie Foster Unemployment Insurance: Congress Should Reject the Misguided Educational Requirement in H.R. 3630 House and Senate conferees are currently considering an extension of federally funded unemployment assistance through the end of 2012. The House-passed bill (H.R. 3630) that conferees are considering includes a new minimum educational requirement for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants. The bill would change federal law to require individuals who receive UI benefits to have a high school diploma, GED or other state-recognized equivalent or be enrolled in classes leading to a secondary credential. If this requirement is deemed "unduly burdensome," state agencies may waive it for individuals. CLASP urges conferees to reject the proposed minimum educational requirement for UI recipients and any alternative formulations of this provision.
Sep 20, 2011
American Jobs Act: New Work and Learning Opportunities for Low-Income, Unemployed Adults and Youth
This CLASP analysis of the American Jobs Act examines provisions specifically aimed at those workers most affected by the recession as well as those struggling even before the economy turned sour. In particular, it looks at the $5 billion Pathways Back to Work Fund, which includes three elements that would create work and learning opportunities for thousands of disadvantaged individuals across the country.
- Sep 07, 2011 | Marcie Foster Adult Education and Family Literacy Week: September 12 - 18, 2011 Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is September 12 - 18, 2011. Learn about how you can help spread the word about the importance of an adult education system that prepares low-skilled adults for postsecondary education and family-sustaining careers
- Aug 23, 2011 | Julie Strawn Farther, Faster: Six Promising Programs Show How Career Pathway Bridges Help Basic Skills Students Earn Credentials That Matter Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate.
May 09, 2011
| EVENT RESOURCES
Developing America's Workforce: Learning from 40 Years of Workforce Development Policy and Practice to Inform the Next Generation
While employers are beginning to hire again, structural problems in the labor market will continue to keep unemployment levels high in the coming years and limit economic mobility for low-income workers. This high-level bipartisan discussion focused on lessons we can draw from the last four decades of workforce policy to help the nation effectively navigate its immediate and long-term labor market challenges.
- May 06, 2011 | Neil Ridley and Elizabeth Kenefick Research Shows the Effectiveness of Workforce Programs In this paper, CLASP provides a fresh look at the evidence showing the effectiveness of workforce programs. It finds that federal investments in workforce development help low-income adults and youth find jobs, improve their earnings and contribute to their communities. The national studies also tend to average out results from a wide range of local approaches and consequently mask the success of promising workforce strategies. A growing body of research suggests that workforce investments are likely to pay off for the next generation.
- Mar 15, 2011 | Julie Strawn New Path to Federal Student Aid for Those with No High School Diploma or GED New policy allows students without a high school diploma or GED to qualify for federal student aid if they successfully complete six credits in lieu of passing an Ability-to-Benefit test. Basic skills bridge programs could be designed to help students earn the critical six credits.
- Mar 04, 2011 | Marcie Foster, Julie Strawn, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education Having a postsecondary education--broadly defined as a credential beyond a high school diploma--continues to be one of the most important factors in getting a good job and advancing in the workforce. Critical federal programs, such as funding for student aid and job training, can help lower-skilled adults and youth access postsecondary education, but important policy choices that support their success and completion can be made at the state and local levels. Beyond Basic Skills describes strategies that state policymakers can use to strengthen connections between basic skills education and postsecondary education to help lower-skilled adults and out-of-school youth attain the postsecondary credentials they need to advance in the labor market.
- Feb 17, 2011 | Neil Ridley and Evelyn Ganzglass Responding to the Great Recession: How the Recovery Act Boosted Training and Innovation in Three States Two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act or ARRA) became law, Congress is preparing to take up reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). With its one-time infusion of resources, the Recovery Act nearly doubled federal funding for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under WIA during 2009-2010 and set national priorities for the public workforce system's response to what is now being described as the Great Recession. The lessons from Recovery Act implementation should inform WIA reauthorization as it proceeds. This report examines the response of three states and local areas to the urgency of the recession, additional funding and the opportunities and challenges afforded by the Recovery Act.
- Jul 08, 2010 | Julie Strawn Shifting Gears: State Innovation to Advance Adult Workers and the Economy in the Midwest
- Jun 14, 2010 | Neil Ridley Prioritizing Services for Low-Income Adults in WIA A key feature of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a tiered service delivery structure that provides core, intensive and training services to adults and dislocated workers. WIA requires states and local areas to implement a priority of service for public assistance recipients and other low-income adults when local adult funds are determined to be limited. Although federal regulations suggest that funds are "generally limited" and that a priority of service is likely to be needed, states and local areas have considerable flexibility to define the policy and determine whether and how to implement it. An early evaluation of WIA revealed that implementation of priority of service varied widely in states and localities.
- May 18, 2010 | Vickie Choitz, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Marcie W.M. Foster, Linda Harris, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Neil Ridley, Julie Strawn Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to design and develop career pathways and bridges into them for adults and out-of-school youth. The toolkit also will help state teams identify state policy barriers to using federal resources for career pathways and bridges and, ideally, address them.
- Mar 22, 2010 | Evelyn Ganzglass, Andrew Reamer, Brandon Roberts, Whitney Smith, Rachel Unruh Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
- Feb 23, 2010 | Evelyn Ganzglass Recommendations for Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System Recommendations on Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System urges the federal government to change current performance accountability provisions in WIA Titles I and II to address specific problems in each program and over time to implement a system of shared accountability across workforce and other education and training programs.
- Dec 10, 2009 | Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Thomas Hilliard Recommendations to Refocus WIA Title II on Career and Postsecondary Success
- Dec 10, 2009 | Evelyn Ganzglass Proposal to Create Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants Program
- Oct 08, 2009 | CLASP The Safety Net's Response to the Recession
- Sep 18, 2009 | Ronnie Kauder and Neil Ridley Earning and Learning: Options under the Workforce Investment Act Adults with limited work experience, low education and skill levels and other barriers to employment face the greatest challenges, especially at a time of rising unemployment. Strategies that combine work and learning are critical to help these individuals to enter or regain employment. This paper focuses on two program strategies that combine work and learning: on-the-job training and paid work experience combined with skill development.
- Jul 24, 2009 CLASP Recommendations for Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (Title I) Adult Program (Updated) CLASP's recommendations for changes to Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) aim to re-focus the workforce investment system on raising the skills of the American workforce and better connect WIA with other education, training and work support programs to create multiple pathways to postsecondary and career success for low-income adults, dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth.
- Nov 12, 2008 Recover, Renew, Rebuild: Workforce Policies for a Strong and Fair Economy Education and training are major contributors to economic prosperity. They are drivers of economic mobility and opportunity. Workforce policies to help individuals who are struggling in the labor market also are a critical component of a recovery package to get America working again. This report contains CLASP workforce policy recommendations for Congress and the Administration to address the immediate economic crisis and to make a down payment on the longer-term agenda of building a stronger and more equitable economy. It includes actions they can take to: help workers and families recover from the current recession; renew the nation's commitment to good jobs and upward mobility for all and rebuild middle class jobs.
- Mar 12, 2008 | Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Overcoming Obstacles,Optimizing Opportunities: State Policies to Increase Postsecondary Attainment for Low-Skilled Adults This paper, by Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn, provides an overview of state policies that can be most successful in helping lower-skilled adults enter and succeed in college and careers. The paper introduces a series of state policy reports developed as part of Breaking Through, a national project that is helping community colleges identify and develop institutional strategies that can enable low-skilled adult students to enter into and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs at community colleges.
- Oct 18, 2007 Policies to Promote Adult Education and Postsecondary Alignment This paper was prepared for the third meeting of the National Commission on Adult Literacy on August 20, 2007. As introduced by its author, CLASP senior policy analyst Julie Strawn, the publication focuses on "helping adults with lower skills and/or limited English proficiency earn postsecondary credentials that open doors to family-supporting jobs." It examines obstacles to moving toward this goal--with major attention to lack of alignment between federal and state adult education efforts, job training services, and postsecondary education policies. It also draws attention to the financial, personal, and family challenges that prevent adults from seeking and completing programs. Numerous policy and action recommendations are given for the commission's consideration. The 28-page publication is also available in bound version from the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (for pricing and ordering instructions, firstname.lastname@example.org).