PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE ADULT EDUCATION CENTER
To better serve Northern Idaho's widespread population, the Adult Education Center has formed a complex network of partnerships. Multiple agencies work with Center staff in formal and informal arrangements. All partners see collaboration as vital to their work. It's not extra work; it's how they do their jobs.
As a result, most partnership agreements with the Center are informal and not documented by contracts or memoranda of understanding. For Even Start, the Adult Education Center is a federally mandated partner and they do have a written agreement (i.e., letter of support). The Workforce Investment Board uses a memorandum of understanding, but these are the only formal agreements among the partners. Otherwise, partnerships are based on verbal discussions and shared decision-making. As one administrator said, "It is assumed that they will help." Staff reiterate this point, saying, "We can call anyone. We know them. We don't have to go through layers."
Moreover, the Center's partnerships adapt as their clients' needs change. Indeed, the Center works differently with each partnering agency, collaborating in ways that best suit the services, the delivery systems, and the clients. Some of the key partners are described below.