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Supported by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education
of the U.S. Department of Education
The Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE)
Highlights
Introduction
Background
Wage and Its Partners
Conclusion
Complete Profile (PDF, 229kb)
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HIGHLIGHTS

The Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) program provides employment-related education to adult learners and upgrades the basic skills of incumbent workers through partnerships with business and other community agencies and organizations.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS IN EL DORADO. . .

  • The state of Arkansas supplies a framework, training, and certification process for the creation of local Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) programs statewide.

  • South Arkansas Community College provides a home for WAGE in its adult education center.

  • Local businesses hire WAGE participants and provide information on skills needed for their entry-level jobs for WAGE's locally tailored, competency-based curriculum.

  • The Departments of Employment Security and Human Services send referrals to WAGE and offer supportive services to WAGE learners.

  • The One-Stop refers job seekers who need to upgrade their basic skills and provides space for WAGE classes.

  • The Department of Economic Development touts WAGE services to businesses considering locating in the area.

AND WHY THEY WORK. . .

  • A tradition of community collaboration is a solid foundation for partnerships. El Dorado has a history of collaboration on behalf of community needs.

  • Employers are active decision-makers for the WAGE program. WAGE clients are trained to meet specific local workforce needs, and WAGE services and graduates are highly valued by local businesses.

  • A state framework provides guidelines, but permits local control over most program decisions. Adult education centers can create WAGE programs to suit local conditions, but must still meet requirements set by the state.

  • Flexibility accommodates changing local labor markets. When employers are hiring, WAGE emphasizes training for job seekers. When they're not hiring, WAGE puts more resources into upgrading incumbent workers' skills.

  • Monthly meetings of an inclusive advisory group are "the place to be." WAGE advisory group meetings have become a popular place to keep abreast of local events and network with colleagues.

  • WAGE has a strong leader especially valued for her skills in working with the business community.