Wayne Township Adult Education Joins Advancing Innovation’s List of Adult Education Innovators!
Wayne Township Adult Education is excited to announce that Career Training has been named an innovative practice in adult education by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project! Advancing Innovation is led by Manhattan Strategy Group, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). Through the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project, OCTAE is on a mission to highlight adult education providers who are helping to advance the field through creative approaches that ensure adult learners develop knowledge and skills, gain secondary credentials, and transition to further education and employment.
The Career Training programming began in 2017 with a three-student pilot program in Microsoft Office. Today, the program engages 300 students each year in 9 career pathways including; medical assisting, dental assisting, sterile processing technician, pharmacy technician, accounting, welding, heating and cooling, truck driving, and teaching assistant. This program has extreme support from Dr. Butts, Superintendent of Wayne Township Adult Education “When our adults are winning, our children are winning. National research has shown on average adult education graduates will earn $6,000 more a year. By supporting adult education, our children live richer lives because their parents are advancing educationally and vocationally. Our parents are modeling success for their children.”
Through the district’s Area 31 Career Center, WTAE students gain access to classrooms that are outfitted with industry equipment and supplies. Dr. Biggerstaff, Director of Area 31 Career Center and Adult Education shares “our district is determined to use all of our assets to elevate both our children and our adults’ education. By honoring this dual-purpose, our career center is an excellent steward of resources maximizing the impact for the State of Indiana. It’s very important to leverage the district’s relationships at all levels of programming to mobilize adults into our WTAE classes.”
Coordinator Christy McIntyre-Gray and her team have worked hard to build strong connections with incredible industry partners such as Duncan Supply and IUHealth. Through genuine employer partnerships, “our students are advancing from an academic environment that is responsive to industry standards ensuring our students are prepared with knowledge, technical skills, and the required professionalism to enter the workforce successfully”. Our supervisor, instructional, and coaching staff at WTAE are optimistic and determined to do whatever it takes to remove all obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of their success.
WTAE’s Career Training Program is one of nine practices selected nationally for innovative approaches modeling effective integrated education and training (IET) programs, transitioning adult learners from adult basic education to postsecondary education or training, and increasing access to adult education services. Our IET program offers training in a range of occupations, including healthcare and construction management, that lead to industry-recognized credentials. Learners can work on building their academic and employability skills through self-paced, online instruction that is customized to their academic needs. Adult learners are paired with a life coach who provides advice and support in addressing barriers such as transportation and childcare. Yvette McLaren Roberts, CT Supervisor, and Mark Ellis, Employment Supervisor, “as students walk through our doors, their lives take flight.” Together with a talented team of industry professionals, they work to ensure a strong curriculum is in place as well as a grand finale game plan to help students connect with employers.
WTAE has been able to build this high-level programming due to the investment and support from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD)’s IET and Workforce Education Initiative (WEI) funding supported by the Indiana General Assembly. This program also has the support of the City of Indianapolis Council and Mayor Hogsett’s Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) dollars to elevate workforce training on the Westside of Indianapolis. Without this significant contribution, these program outcomes would not have been possible. This program is elevating community members’ income and that in return is building a stronger contribution to the city’s tax base.
To explore our profile in innovation, visit the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project at https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/advancing-innovation/explore.
If you are interested in starting classes with WTAE, please visit adulted.info to get started.