Special to Iredell Free News
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.
Mitchell Community College has joined 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. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for services.
Mitchell’s adult education programs currently are providing instruction online. CDC guidelines and sanitation protocols are in place for limited in-person pre-assessment to ensure a safe learning environment.
An international study indicated approximately 43 million working-age Americans lack the skills needed for many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs. According to the U.S. Census, there are over 22 million adults in the U.S. without a high school diploma.
“Adult education provides on-ramps to better jobs and to community college,” said Basic Skills Instructional Coordinator Sherry Clarke. “With adult education, the infrastructure is in place to reskill and upskill Americans and not only get them back into the workforce but get them into better jobs than they had before the pandemic.”
Campaign partners Coalition on Adult Basic Education and the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education also 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 skills training, adult education programs teach literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, as well as offer high school equivalency classes
About Mitchell Community College
Mitchell Community College serves 9,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area. For more information, visit www.mitchellcc.edu or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus).