- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- a. State Strategy Implementation
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include–
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
- a. State Strategy Implementation
III. a. 2. G. Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access
Describe how the State’s strategies will enable the State to leverage other Federal, State, and local investments that have enhanced access to workforce development programs at the above institutions, described in section (E).
(2g.) Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access
The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) has implemented streamlined Prior Learning Assessments for those individuals that have gained skills while on the job, military, or through other means. This allows the students to earn college credit for the past experience and accelerates their entry into the chosen career pathway. This program is also available for those Adult Education students that may have several years of experience and are looking to improve themselves and increase their earning capacity. Our plan is to develop a working “focus group” of all the workforce resources within the state to develop strategy for leveraging the current funding sources and plan collaboratively on how we can link our programs in a resource pipeline. The purpose, to assist our underserved populations to get in the pipeline at the appropriate access point and exit when they reach their goal or where they are comfortable to exit with employment that provides a living wage for their family. The group meets now in various venues, but not formally for the purpose we propose. Our action step will be to formalize the “focus group” with specific tangible goals and objectives.
Funding for Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses is distributed according to the targeted needs of an area and how many instructors are needed. Funding for ABE programs is provided through a competitive grant award and is based on the annual appropriation from the ACCS Office of Adult Education. Grantees will be aligned with system-wide goals and labor market needs of local program areas and will have the capability to provide Career Pathway services throughout the state. ACCS community colleges also provide training through the state’s Workforce Development Fund.
The Alabama legislature currently allocates ten million dollars to the ACCS for CTE dual-enrollment scholarships for high school students. The ACCS workforce development division also has funds allocated for training special populations. The construction industry will be contributing financial resources for training Alabamians through the Construction Industry Craft Training Act. The new law will add $1 per $1,000 of project value onto the cost of building permits in the state. It is expected to raise between $3 million and $5 million each year, money that will be dispersed in the form of grants to qualified craft education programs such as community colleges, private schools, and unions.
The Alabama Community College System’s Adult Education office has established Integrated Education & Training Adult Career Pathway models by leveraging the expertise and resources of the core and additional partners. The IET programs are available to eligible job seekers at no cost through the braiding of financial resources from the partners. Partners can expand their presence in an area by taking advantage of career center partner facilities with a “no wrong door” approach to service. Cross-training in the intake procedures and the administration of assessments is one of the many areas of leveraging human and financial capital. Adult Education continues to provide online TABE assessment access and training to all Career Centers for assisting in the proper educational placement of participants.
The ACCS - Title II-Adult Education programs are coordinating with all of the WIOA required partners to create formalized referral processes, local linkages to information and resources, as well as creating efforts for a uniformed intake and/or assessment process to streamline and expedite the provision of services. Title II Adult Education through the Alabama Community College System has created an educational and workforce skills path for Title I, SNAP ABAWDS, TANF, Rehabilitation Services, and Senior Services. A participant will receive the basic academic skills, essential workforce skills, and specific technical skills needed to attain the stackable credentials which will enable them to compete for and attain employment. These participants will include any and all eligible populations as defined under WIOA for each of the core and additional partners. English language learners and participants with disabilities and/or significant barriers to employment will be targeted.
As a partner in the workforce development system, the Alabama Community College System, Adult Education (Title II) programs are administering integrated education and training (IET) career pathway opportunities. The implementation of career pathways programming throughout the state will be guided by local labor market information and reflective of the local industry needs. The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) federal funds support the advancement of individuals into postsecondary education and work. The grants to eligible providers require states to consider “whether the eligible provider’s activities provide learning in context, including through integrated education and training (IET), so that an individual acquires the skills needed to transition to and complete postsecondary education and training programs, obtain and advance in employment leading to economic self-sufficiency, and to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship” (Section 231(e) (8)). The integration of literacy instruction and occupational skills training is an allowable activity that states can use leadership and federal funds to support.
Adult Education funds are used to support Integrated Education and Training (IET) career pathway programs that provide instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, or English proficiency that is below the postsecondary level. This instruction in basic literacy skills and the English language should be contextualized to support the occupational skills portion of the program. The Career Pathway curriculum address both the basic literacy skills and the occupational competencies needed for the participant to complete the program successfully. AE funds are used to plan, develop, and deliver the portions of the curriculum that address basic literacy skills in a contextualized way to ensure the application of the knowledge and skills.