Investing in Adult Education is an Economic Catalyst

MANY SOLUTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES' WORKFORCE, ECONOMIC AND SOCIETAL ISSUES LIE WITHIN ONE OF OUR NATION'S GREATEST UNTAPPED RESOURCES - ADULT EDUCATION.

 Mr. Stagnolia has served as Vice President for Adult Education with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) since July 2009.

Mr. Stagnolia has served as Vice President for Adult Education with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) since July 2009.

How do we address America's skill gap? Whether you are an educator, economic or workforce developer or employer, all conversational roads lead to this common, challenging destination.

Workers without a Diploma
As chairman of the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE), I may be a little biased, but I believe a solution to the United States’ workforce and socioeconomic issues lie within using an overlooked resource-adult education. Health issues, incarceration rates, and poverty are impacted by an individual’s highest education level. There may be no better “return on investment” than that made with adult education, particularly when it comes to addressing America’s competitive skills crisis.

High school equivalency (HSE} graduates from our adult education system could solve this crisis. However, there are 24 million working age Americans - 12 percent of the workforce - without a high school diploma. While the number of working-age adults without a high school or equivalency is startling, There are still millions who do possess a high school diploma yet lack the educational skills required to succeed in today's workforce. Post-secondary learning may help high school graduates who require the skills to be successful in collage and career.