Yakima Valley College Joins ‘Moving Ahead with Adult Ed’ National Campaign to Get Adults Back to School and Work
Yakima, WA — With reskilling and upskilling programs in place, adult education is an economic catalyst to help low-skilled adults and their communities recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yakima Valley College programs provide numerous options for adult learners to boost their skills, including working from home or receiving in-person instruction.
YVC joins more than 65,000 adult educators in “Moving Ahead with Adult Ed,” a new national campaign to enroll adult learners into programs that equip them with skills that lead to high school equivalency and jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage.
“Millions of Americans are out of work or underemployed and need to reskill or upskill to re-enter the workforce or pursue their education,” said Marc Coomer, Dean of College & Career Readiness. “The pandemic has exacerbated the need for services.”
“Adult education provides on-ramps to better jobs and to community college,” continued Coomer. “With adult education, the infrastructure is in place to help Americans not only get back into the workforce, but get them into better jobs than they had before the pandemic.”
YVC College & Career Readiness adult education programs currently are providing instruction online with academic and technical support.
Approximately 43 million working-age Americans lack the abilities needed for many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs, an international study recently found. According to the U.S. Census, there are over 22 million adults in the U.S. without a high school diploma. In Yakima County, 25% of adults have less than a high school diploma.
In Washington State, more than 40,000 people are enrolled in adult education programs. Here in the Yakima Valley, YVC College & Career Readiness serves 1,500 adult learners annually. Among them is Maria Soto, a High School+ student, also enrolled in the Nursing Assistant Certification (NAC) I-BEST program.
Soto, a young mother, decided to return to school and earn her diploma so she could achieve her goal of becoming a nurse. Though she was initially intimidated by the prospect of starting school during an already challenging time, Soto soon realized that YVC instructors were in her corner and readily available to answer questions and encourage her. Soto is now on track to complete the NAC program next quarter, moving her one step further along YVC’s Healthcare Pathway to her career goal.
YVC offers several I-BEST opportunities where adults without a high school diploma, like Soto, are in classes with two instructors: one that provides training in a specific career pathway and the other who teaches basic skills. I-BEST enables students to learn by doing — students get the help they need to finish their high school education while studying in the career field of their choice.
Campaign partners Coalition on Adult Basic Education and the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education estimate that for every dollar invested in adult education, a community receives $60 back in increased income, property taxes and savings on public assistance and legal-system expenses.
The #MovingAheadWithAdultEd campaign focuses on re-engaging the millions of Americans who are in need of additional skills to compete in the workforce to recover financially from the pandemic. In addition to providing industry training, adult education programs teach literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, as well as offer high school equivalency classes.