August 21, 2009
CLASP Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success
Jobs that require at least some postsecondary training will grow faster than average in the next decade. But far too many Americans cannot access or complete postsecondary education or training and so lack the credentials required to compete for 21st Century jobs that offer family-supporting wages and benefits. Low-income workers in particular need access to postsecondary education to improve their opportunity for economic mobility. We can and must do better.
In 2010, CLASP will formally launch its Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success. This initiative will promote innovative federal and state policies aimed at helping more Americans acquire marketable skills that open doors to good jobs that provide family-sustaining wages. The new center will complement CLASP's current work on policy solutions that provide pathways to jobs and opportunity.
Specifically, the center's focus will be low-income, under-represented and at-risk students, including students of color, part-time, working students, and high school drop outs. The center will work to advance policy solutions that improve these students' chances of receiving academic and occupational certificates, associate and bachelor's degrees, and industry credentials such as those earned through apprenticeships.
The soon-to-launch center is made possible by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and other funders. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding CLASP's work as part of its Postsecondary Success initiative to double the number of low- income students in the United States who earn a postsecondary degree by age 26.
We also invite you to visit www.shifting-gears.org to learn about CLASP's work to help five Midwest states strengthen connections between the adult education, workforce development and postsecondary education programs to create pathways to college and career success for low-income working adults.