Originally published by Urban Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE, WI – Literacy Services of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership Building Industry Group & Skilled Trades Employment Program (WRTP/BIG STEP) is proud to announce that its Multi-Craft Core Curriculum High School Equivalency Diploma (MC3 HSED) has been recognized as an innovative practice in adult education by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project led by Manhattan Strategy Group. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). MC3 HSED is one of four practices selected nationally for facilitating secondary credentialing in innovative ways. The selected practices will all be featured in an online showcase on September 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM ET during National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

“The Advancing Innovation project aims to increase the information available about innovative practices in adult education, identify what motivates programs to innovate, and help the field better understand the conditions necessary to support implementation. Adult educators’ development of innovative products, services, and processes is a key strategy for providing better services to learners,” said Cheryl L. Keenan, Director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education.

Local adult education programs help adult learners develop knowledge and skills, gain secondary credentials, and transition to further education and employment. These programs are especially vital today as many adults face unemployment due to the pandemic and need to retool to safely return to work. The selected practices illustrate innovative approaches for adults to attain a secondary credential while developing career-readiness skills, earning college credits, or obtaining an occupational certificate in a career pathway.

“It is an honor to have our local program recognized nationally for its collaboration and innovation,” said Holly McCoy, Executive Director for Literacy Services of Wisconsin.“Integrated Education and Training requires us to think intentionally about how adult literacy can align with other industries to create meaningful career connections for our students and ensure they are confident and ready for their desired career field. Wisconsin’s construction industry projects a 10% increase over the next decade, making this program necessary to support growth in the state.”

Matthew Waltz, Chief Operating Officer of WRTP/BIG STEP said, “Our partnership with Literacy Services of Wisconsin has been invaluable in providing better service to our clients. This partnership has led to the creation of the construction competency high school diploma program and has allowed us to provide a pathway to a family-sustaining career in the construction trades that previously was not available. This program has already led to dozens of individuals securing their diploma and essential skills towards the first step in their future careers.”

“The Advancing Innovation project will continue to identify additional innovative practices over the next three years to inform the adult education field. High-performing Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grantees are encouraged to apply,” said Lori Meyer, Advancing Innovation Project Director, Manhattan Strategy Group.

The next application deadline is January 31, 2021. To learn more about the program and application instructions, visit the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project online for more information.

About Literacy Services of Wisconsin (LSW): Literacy Services of Wisconsin’s mission is to partner with motivated adults to provide access to quality basic education and skills training so they can improve their lives, enrich their families, and strengthen our community. We believe that every learner is unique. As such, their paths to their educational goals may vary depending on their learning styles, abilities, barriers to employment, life schedules, and personal commitments to programming. www.literacyservices.org

About WRTP/BIG STEP: WRTP/BIG STEP’s mission is to enhance the ability of private sector organizations to recruit and develop a more diverse, qualified workforce in construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors of the regional economy. wrtp.org

About the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project: The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project is a five-year effort to identify and highlight innovative practices in adult education that lead to improved outcomes. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE).

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