World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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Working Hard

Part 3 of the We Are Adult Learners series, featuring stories from adult education students originally published for The Change Agent.

Two-thirds of low-skilled U.S. adults - nearly 24 million - are employed, most of them in low-wage jobs. They may have been laid off, like Ruth Wilmore, when the company where she worked for 26 years moved overseas. Or they may be immigrants like Eder Lopez, who moved to the U.S. to improve his job prospects. Maria Irma Blanco’s story reflects the story of the nearly 30% of immigrants who have professional training from their native countries but  usually struggle to restart a similar or new career in the US. Adult learners who are not employed typically enroll in adult education to improve their ability to compete for a decent job.

All of these adults stand to benefit from adult education. Research by Reder shows that participation in adult education (100 hours or more) results in an average wage increase of $10,000 per year. The benefits of adult education, however, accrue to not just the adult learners and their families, but also to employers and communities in the form of increased productivity and tax revenue. Research also shows that states with better-educated workforces have higher economic growth and higher wages.





JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo



JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo
 


JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo



JSI/WEI Photo Library Photo




My Clients Are Like My Grandparents - Yolanda De López

Yolanda's job teaches her the importance of giving back.

 




From Dishwasher to Chef
Elder Lopez

Elder rises up in the restaurant ranks.





Things Are Forever Changing
- Ruth Wilmore

After working for the same company for 26 years, Ruth suddenly found herself unemployed.






My Fulfilling Job as a Social Worker - Maria Irma Blanco

Maria thrived in a career helping others.







Luz's Story- Luz Santana

Luz went from housekeeper to future business manager.