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OSSE, in Partnership with the DC WIC, Announce the Winners of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Grant and Career Pathways Grant Competition

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Media Contact: Fred Lewis, [email protected]; (202) 412-2167

On June 30, 2017, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the District’s Workforce Investment Council (WIC) announced the winners of the joint grant competition for approximately $4.3 million in Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant funds and workforce training funds.

Aligned with the District’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified State Plan and the Career Pathways Taskforce Strategic Plan, the grant combines OSSE’s AEFLA federal grant and local match funds with the WIC’s local career pathways funding in an effort to strategically coordinate efforts and fund eligible providers to offer Integrated Education and Training  (IE&T) programs.   

IE&T programs are based on a service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement. One of the country’s most researched and well known IE&T programs is Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training  (I-BEST) model, where basic skills instructors and professional technical faculty jointly design and teach college-level occupational classes that admit basic skills-level students. While IE&T models can look differently across programs, the integrative approach is prioritized in WIOA and is considered a national best practice in adult education and workforce development due to its ability to reduce the amount of time it takes for adult learners to become prepared for gainful employment along a career pathway.

The 10 new sub-grantees will be funded to provide IE&T models that will support adult learners with literacy and numeracy skills at the first-grade level, the 12th-grade level or anywhere in between. Many sub-grantees will deliver services through the development of partnerships and consortia that include adult education programs, industry-specific training programs, employers, postsecondary institutions and social service organizations that would provide non-academic support services, such as case management, supported-referrals to other services and public benefits, and child care, etc. to name a few. These collaborations will ensure that District residents can enter a funded program and advance along a clearly articulated career pathway with seamless transitions between partnering programs. Work-based learning opportunities such as internships, externships, job shadowing, mentoring, and coaching are also program components included in many of the new proposals.  

Below are the 10 sub-grantees that will be awarded funding under this initiative:

Name of Program

Academy of Hope Public Charter School
Briya Public Charter School
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation
Four Walls Career and Technical Education Center
Latin American Youth Center
Opportunities Industrialization Center – DC
So Others Might Eat (SOME)
YouthBuild Public Charter School

Each sub-grantee identified one or more industries of focus, including Early Childhood Education, Healthcare, Hospitality, Business Administration, Information Technology, Construction, and Law and Security; all of which are aligned with the WIC’s list of high-demand employment sectors. Sub-grantees are also required to participate in a WIC-funded Community of Practice that will support this type of programming. 

“OSSE is thrilled to fund these 10 adult education programs to support the adoption and expansion of the integrated education and training model, a national best practice proven to expedite academic progress of our adult learners while concurrently preparing them to be successful in DC’s highly-competitive job market. With so many District adults lacking a secondary credential and unable to find family-sustaining employment, it is clear that the District needs to make these type of strategic investments into what works in adult education,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang.  

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS), 11 percent of District adults, or 57,048 adults, do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. The ACS data also shows that almost 50 percent of DC families headed by someone with less than a high school diploma live below the poverty level, compared to 27 percent headed by someone with some college/associates degree and 7 percent headed by someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Furthermore, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently found that by 2020, 76 percent of all jobs in DC will require some postsecondary education, which is the highest rate in the country.

“The WIC is excited to embark on an endeavor that will lay the ground work for future training models. Through this partnership we will not only prepare the next generation of workers in the District, but also provide employers with highly skilled, credentialed employees that enhance the value of their current workforce,” said Diane Pabich, Interim Executive Director of DC’s WIC.