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Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College receives award to educate adult learners; partnership between KYAE, KCTCS and KWIB

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

receives award to educate adult learners;

partnership between KYAE, KCTCS and KWIB

Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in partnership with Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) and the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), have been awarded a $200,000 grant as a part of Accelerating Opportunity, a breaking through initiative. Supported by a strategic partnership of five of the nations leading philanthropies, Accelerating Opportunity will help Kentucky transform adult education into more successful pathways leading to economic security for underprepared workers in todays demanding job market.

The number of adults who lack skills beyond a high school diploma is a national crisis and in Kentucky nearly 786,000 adults do not have a high school credential, preventing them from earning a wage to support a family. In fact, it is predicted by the year 2018, 54 percent of all jobs in Kentuckymore than 1 million jobswill require some level of postsecondary education or training.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College was selected because of its leadership commitment, the strength of its local adult education program, their partnership with the local Workforce Investment Board and college history with innovative programing. The seven other colleges selected for the implementation design phase of the initiative include: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Gateway Community amp; Technical College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community College, Maysville Community and Technical College, Owensboro Community and Technical College and West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

For our state to continue its economic growth, more adults must acquire the skills that prepare them for success in employment, said Dr. W. Bruce Ayers, president of Southeast. This initiative will assist our college and others in providing adult learners with a fast track education experience that will quickly prepare them for a job in high demand, high wage sectors.

A Kentucky Design Team for the Accelerating Opportunity has been established to assist the colleges in creating programs that integrate basic skills with practical, occupational training. The team is comprised of 16 individuals who will meet on at least a monthly basis during the nine-month life of the design grant. The Kentucky Design Team includes:

Dr. Jay Box, KCTCS Chancellor

Beth Brinly, Commissioner Cabinet for Education amp; Workforce Development

Reecie Stagnolia, Jr. , Vice-President CPE/Kentucky Adult Education

David Adkisson, Executive Director of KY Chamber of Commerce

Ron Crouch, Director of Research amp; Statistics, Cabinet for Education amp; Workforce Development

Cris Crowley, Director of Adult Education KCTCS/Madisonville CTC

Robert I. Curry, Executive Director, Bluegrass State Skills Corporation

Kim Dees, Vice-President, Kentucky Hospital Association

John Greenwell, Coordinator of Adult Ed. Workforce Services, Jefferson County Public Schools

Greg Higdon, President/CEO, KY Association of Manufacturing (KAM)

Mark Hundley, KCTCS Grant Development Specialist

Pam Jarboe, Director of Program Services, KY Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Dr. Gloria McCall, KCTCS Vice Chancellor

Bill Monterosso, Executive Director, OET

Dr. Aaron Thompson, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Council on Postsecondary Education

Tom West, Executive Director, Kentucky Workforce Investment Board

Accelerating Opportunity seeks to change the way education is delivered to adult learners by putting adult students on track to earn a postsecondary credential so they can seize the opportunity to earn family-sustaining wages and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Design grants were also awarded in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin. After the design stage, the states will be eligible to compete for implementation grants, of which five states will receive $1.6 million each over three years to implement their plans. The initiative will engage nearly 40 community colleges across the country and impact more than 18,000 adult learners. Educational pathways to higher skills, credentials and employment will be rigorously tested and independently evaluated.

Accelerating Opportunity is a breaking through initiative in a multi-state effort managed by Jobs for the future that promotes improved academic access and economic opportunity for low-skilled adults. This effort seeks to enhance adult education and postsecondary systems by integrating basic skills with occupational training and adequate institutional support for adult learners, ensuring they receive the postsecondary credentials needed to succeed in high-skilled jobs and break the cycle of poverty in their communities. Accelerating Opportunity is supported by the Bill amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. For more information, visit www.acceleratingopportunity.org .