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Kentucky aligns adult education services, WIOA partners under one agency

Adult Education Services transferred to Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Gov. Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. — In an effort to align the state’s workforce resources, Gov. Matt Bevin has signed an Executive Order placing adult education services within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).

Kentucky’s adult education services play a key role in helping Kentuckians become college and career ready by preparing individuals for the GED high school equivalency test, postsecondary education and training, career readiness certificates, and employment.

In fiscal year 2017-2018, more than 19,000 students were enrolled in Kentucky Skills U, the state’s adult education program. The new Office of Adult Education, housed within EWDC’s Department for Workforce Investment, will continue to provide free adult education services in all 120 counties helping to ensure Kentuckians receive the education needed for employment in high-demand job sectors.

“In order to be career-ready and thrive in today’s modern workforce, adults around the nation are seeking additional skills and educational opportunities,” said Gov. Bevin. “It makes sense that Kentucky would build on that momentum by aligning adult education services within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. I am grateful for Secretary Derrick Ramsey’s leadership in this area as we continue bolstering the effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s workforce programs and more efficiently align state resources to create jobs for Kentuckians.”

Adult Education is a required partner under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Under WIOA, the scope of adult education focuses on transitioning adults to postsecondary education and training in an effort to create successful career paths and self-sufficiency.

EWDC is responsible for coordinating and administering Kentucky’s WIOA training programs, employment services, vocational rehabilitation, early childhood and P-12 secondary education. Transferring adult education services, through the Kentucky Skills U program, to EWDC unifies Kentucky’s WIOA partners under one agency with the unified goal of preparing Kentuckians for quality, sustainable employment.

“Education serves as the core foundation for ensuring Kentuckians are able to successfully engage and thrive in today’s workforce,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick K. Ramsey. “By aligning adult education services with the state’s workforce, early childhood and P-12 resources, we create a workforce system that ensures all Kentuckians, regardless of education level, are able to be connected with opportunities to find meaningful employment.”

Alignment of WIOA partners is a part of Kentucky’s continuous effort to align workforce and educational resources to create economic growth, enhance standard of living, and create a more diversified workforce for employers.

“In Kentucky, we want to be known for leading change and innovation. Many solutions to the Commonwealth’s workforce, economic and societal issues lie within one of our state’s greatest untapped resources – adult education. Transitioning the Kentucky Skills U system to the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet will be a game changer for Kentuckians needing to become college and career ready,” said Office of Adult Education Executive Director Reecie Stagnolia.

To view a copy of the executive order, click here.