Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Community Conversations

WIA Community Conversations
January 11-15, 2009

Questions | Preparation | About Our Guest | Resources | FAQ | Transcripts and Summaries


What are the real issues impacting adult learners, practitioners, and programs in adult education today? Brenda Dann-Messier, the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, invites you to participate in a conversation January 11-15, 2010 about reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Obama Administration is preparing for WIA reauthorization and has asked the National Institute for Literacy’s Discussion Lists to engage in a candid and constructive discourse about what the field’s successes and needs are in providing adult education programs and services. The Administration is particularly interested in hearing feedback from discussants around 2-3 questions specific to each discussion list topic.

Questions for Discussion

The WIA Community Conversations will occur simultaneously across all of the Institute’s lists during the week of January 11th within the specific topic and purpose of each list.

To participate (free), subscribe to a discussion list of your choice. After subscribing, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to validate your subscription.

How will this work?

On January 11, the Assistant Secretary will open the discussion on each discussion list. Subscribers are invited to post their feedback at any time over the five days to the questions posed within the discussion list topic. Each discussion list moderator will compile a list of key themes and the full discussion transcripts. Moderators will then present these to the Assistant Secretary for consideration as the Administration finalizes its position on WIA reauthorization. As in all of the WIA Community Conversations being held across the United States, the Assistant Secretary is not responding to participants’ comments but rather listening and collecting feedback to assist in formulating and refining the Department of Education’s policy positions. Please join in the conversations January 11-15, 2009.


Imagine you are in a room with colleagues, preparing to give spoken testimony in response to specific questions. Your response is grounded in your experience participating in or providing adult education services. The Assistant Secretary is ready to hear from you and consider your comments thoughtfully. But since our conversations will occur in a “virtual” setting rather than face to face, prepare your testimony in writing. Keep it brief, one page or less. When the discussions begin January 11, post your testimony to the discussion list of your choice. Reflect upon and respond to others’ testimonies for the purpose of exploring successes and challenges in adult education.

If your testimony crosses topics (for example, reading and assessment), you might choose to divide your testimony so that the key reading aspects are posted to the Reading and Writing List and the key assessment aspects are posted to the Assessment List. Please do not cross post one testimony to multiple lists. All testimonies will be added to the final transcription.


If you are not able to participate in one of the conversations, please feel free to submit your thoughts to the Assistant Secretary at until January 23, 2010.

Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization, Department of Education WIA Community Conversations Blog
—The above article provides background on the WIA Community Conversations, and links to transcripts from sessions held-to-date.