Integrating Adult Basic and Occupational Training: A Review of Research and Practice

Lisa Soricone
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Commonwealth Corporation and Rhode Island Economic Policy Council
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This report prepared by Commonwealth Corporation for the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council is a compilation of previous studies done as well as additional material to examine evidence in support of the integration of basic skills and occupational training. The report examines a variety of approaches to integration that offers interesting lessons for agencies and/or states interested in implementing this approach. The study focuses on programs that target low-skilled, low-income and limited English speaking adults. Program effectiveness is provided that offers insight into different approaches to integrate adult basic education and occupational training. It can be concluded that the mix of these services to low-skilled adults increases earning potential and encourages further training and education. The references included are extensive providing additional resources of interest.

What the experts say

This report summarizes and synthesis both control group and descriptive studies on the impact of several different pathways for integrating basic skills instruction with occupational training. Descriptive studies include integration through employer based (on-site), sectoral workforce development initiatives (pipeline programs) and programs that target workers with limited English proficiency. The benefits of integration are discussed at length and while research on long term impact is limited, some practices have proven to have a positive impact on retention, job attainment, wages and career pathways. While this was written to inform the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council, the information is relevant to anyone working in the field of adult education as there are extensive descriptions of employer based programs, community based organizations, workforce development professionals and community college collaborations.