Clear all

16 results found

reorder grid_view

Building Career Pathways for Adult Learners: An Evaluation of Progress in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin After Eight Years of Shifting Gears

September 29, 2015

The Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears initiative was launched in 2007 as a state policy change effort in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The goal was to strengthen adult basic education, workforce, and community and technical college systems so that more low-skilled workers gain the education, skills and credentials needed to advance and succeed in our changing economy. The Joyce Foundation extended Shifting Gears funding from 2012 -- 2014 (referred to as SG 3.0) in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This report reached five primary findings:Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin doubled the total number of their bridge programs from 79 to 196 between SG 2.0 to SG 3.0.Each state effectively institutionalized its adult education bridge program as an ongoing option to address the educational and skill needs of low-skilled adult learners.In two of the three states (Minnesota and Wisconsin), important policy changes expanded financial resources available for adult education bridges, and created the foundation for further advancing adult education bridges.Scale was not achieved during this period in terms of serving many or most of the low-skilled adults who might benefit from bridge programs.The work of Shifting Gears positively influenced the national discourse on workforce development.

Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future

February 12, 2014

In 2012, there were more than 10 million low-income working families with children in the United States,and 39 percent were headed by working mothers. The economic conditions for these families have worsened since the onset of the recession; between 2007 and 2012, there was a four percentage-point increase in the share of female-headed working families that are low-income. Addressing challenges specific to these families will increase their economic opportunity, boost the economy and strengthen the fabric of communities across the nation.Public policy can play a critical role in our future prosperity by reversing this trend and improving outcomes for low-income working mothers. Of particular interest is how state governments can best invest in helping working mothers gain the education, skills and supports necessary to become economically secure and provide a strong economic future for their children. In this brief, we highlight the latest data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and recommend state government policies and actions that would facilitate the economic advancement of female-headed, low-income working families with children under age 18.

Strengthening State Systems for Adult Learners: An Evaluation of the First Five Years of Shifting Gears

December 1, 2012

The Joyce Foundation launched Shifting Gears in 2007 with the goal of helping six Midwest states significantly increase the number of low-skilled adults with the education and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Between 2007 and 2011, the Foundation awarded a total of about $8 million in grants to Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, with the expectation that officials in these states would pursue a systems change agenda for making existing education and skills development systems work better for adult learners. Shifting Gears emphasized the need for aligning policy and priorities across adult basic education, workforce development, and community and technical college systems to improve adult transitions to postsecondary education. State officials were expected to identify innovative strategies for serving lowskilled adults in new ways that, over time, would be infused into these systems and the mainstream operations of their local providers and institutions. The premise of Shifting Gears was that states would be able to bolster postsecondary success of low-skilled adults if the old ways of delivering education and related services were replaced with more effective and aligned approaches. The Joyce Foundation recognized that change would not come easily or quickly and was unlikely to be realized during the first five years of Shifting Gears. Accordingly, this evaluation focuses on the extent to which each of the six states "gained traction on the ground" by implementing their innovative strategies within local institutions and providers of education and skills development. This evaluation specifically focuses on the innovative strategies that connected a state's adult basic education (ABE) system with its community and technical college system. The overarching evaluative questions answered by this report from the first five years of Shifting Gears are:To what extent have states begun to adopt and implement an innovative strategy to improve transitions from adult basic education into community and technical colleges, including serving participants in these new ways?What are the factors that influenced progress in the states to adopt and implement these innovative strategies during the initiative?

Overlooked and Underpaid: Number of Low-Income Working Families Increases to 10.2 Million

December 16, 2011

Highlights 2007-10 trends in the number and percentage of working families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line by state and race/ethnicity, as well as the number of children affected. Examines income inequality by quintile and implications.

Great Recession Hit Hard at America's Working Poor: Nearly 1 in 3 Working Families in United States Are Low-Income

December 20, 2010

Highlights findings on the 2009 increase in the number of low-income working families and their children, proportion of low-income working families by parents' race/ethnicity, and the growth of income inequality. Discusses policy implications.

Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

March 23, 2010

Outlines the need for data systems to assess educational transitions, completions, and labor market outcomes of adult students and workers in postsecondary, adult education, and skill development programs in order to strengthen policies and programs.

The Shifting Gears Approach to Systems Change

December 11, 2009

Evaluates the Shifting Gears initiative to strengthen state postsecondary, adult basic education, and skills development systems through data, policy change, engagement, and communications. Focuses on the logic model and the policy agenda and action plan.

Improving Student Success by Strengthening Developmental Education in Community Colleges: The Role of State Policy

March 25, 2009

Outlines the need to strengthen community college students' basic English and math skills as required for college courses in order to meet workforce needs. Describes promising approaches to improving developmental education and recommends state policies.

Strengthening State Financial Aid Policies for Low-Income Working Adults

December 31, 2007

Explains the need to expand state financial aid programs to help the working poor enroll in college. Recommends funding new aid for working adults as well as strengthening existing aid to meet their needs, and describes recent state initiatives.

Strengthening State Policies to Increase the Education and Skills of Low-Wage Workers

April 1, 2007

Highlights the need for state-funded workforce development programs to target low-skill, low-wage workers. Describes state programs that direct resources to employers and nonprofits to train entry-level employees, former welfare recipients, and dropouts.

Promoting Student Success in Community Colleges by Increasing Support Services

October 1, 2006

Recommends state policies to improve community college students' retention and completion rates through enhanced tutoring, counseling, and other supports, as well as alternative instructional models that allow working adults to learn in flexible formats.

Promoting Economic Self-Sufficiency as a State TANF Outcome

April 1, 2006

Urges states to set participants' economic self-sufficiency as a goal for TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) and other workforce development programs, with clear measures, time spans, and benchmarks. Includes four states' TANF reporting requirements.