Integrated Education and Training: Implementing Programs in Diverse Contexts
The federal Workforce Investment and Innovation Act (WIOA) has changed the landscape of adult education, focusing the field squarely on workforce development outcomes and programming that supports the integration of education and training (IET) and career pathways. This guide emerged from efforts to learn how eight adult education programs around the country have been integrating education and training. Many of these programs hare making adjustments to conform to WIOA requirements and activities; others are using WIOA as an opportunity to forge new workforce collaborations. Across the board, there is much to learn from what they are doing effectively, what hasn’t worked well, and what they are thinking about going forward.
Despite their wide range of contexts, all IET programs face some common realities. One is that the world of work is constantly evolving. New jobs require updated technological skills and a comfort with digital tools; employers are modernizing with green technologies and practices; and industries may rise, fall, or relocate. IET programs need to be nimble in responding to these realities. Illustrated in this guide are programs that continue to revamp their services, employ sectoral approaches that focus on technical skills that transfer across job categories, or rotate their job trainings so that they don’t over-saturate the market with workers who are then left without strong employment options.
Another universal reality for IET programs is that this integration of services requires building relationships with and engaging new partners, and collaborating in new ways. The expanded team involved in such a collaboration needs to figure out how to work together and best utilize the strengths of each partner. The profiles in this guide offer a wide array of approaches both in who the adult education programs partner with (e.g. career and technical education (CTE) departments within a college or technical high school, WIOA-authorized training providers, or in-house technical training instructors) and how they collaborate in those partnerships to develop an integrated curriculum.
The programs profiled are:
- Asian-American Civic Association (Boston, MA)
- Community Action, Inc. of Central Texas (Austin, TX)
- Eastern Aroostook Adult and Community Education (Caribou, ME)
- Genesis Center (Providence, RI)
- Johnson County Community College (Johnson County, KS)
- LaGuardia Community College (Queens, NY)
- Northeast Mississippi Community College (Booneville, MS)
- Southwest Regional Adult and Continuing Education (Southwest VA)
Practitioners are looking for IET examples that can be used as models in developing their own programs. This resource fulfills this need by providing simple and precise examples of workforce development in adult education in the following areas: health care, rural communities, urban areas, culinary arts, building maintenance, entrepreneurship, and curriculum development.
This resource builds awareness of model IET program across a wide diversity of contexts. It would be useful for those developing local programs, studying the national context, or doing more research. Individual case studies include core information presented in a question and answer format. In particular, the design and funding portions of each case study are significant for practitioners, administrators, and policy-makers.