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.
My Clients Are Like My Grandparents - Yolanda De López
|Related Projects: New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC), The Change Agent Magazine|