Strategies to ​Help ​Adults ​Earn a Living Wage​

Many working Americans have low foundational skills that keep them from thriving in the workplace and attaining their educational and career goals (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2013), as employers increasingly need workers who can think critically, solve problems, and perform complex tasks (Executive Office of the President, 2009; Carnevale & Strohl, 2010). Since two-thirds of the labor force in 2020 will consist of people who are already over the age of 18 today, economic growth depends on the development of adults as well as young people.

Career pathway programs deliver the foundational and occupational skills that local employers value, and the supports that people need to access and succeed in opportunities for education and career advancement.

The NCTN guides the design and implementation of career pathway programs that prepare adults to enter and advance in occupations that provide a living wage. We provide tools and resources and facilitate essential partnerships across adult education, workforce development, postsecondary education, and business and industry to ensure that the pathways align with local employment opportunities.  

Work-Based Education

We develop work-based education programs working collaboratively with employer partners to ensure smooth planning and implementation leading to worker-learner success. Our inclusive process begins with a workplace needs assessment and development of customized, contextualized curriculum with input from all stakeholders. Professional development provides programs with the foundation needed to develop employer partnerships and a work-based education program, locally.

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The NCTN partners with adult education, workforce and community organizations, and college systems from across the country to incubate and pilot innovations in policy, and to provide technical assistance and professional development. Tools, reports and resources developed through this work are designed to be customizable and to be shared widely.


We offer high-quality transition-related courses through World Education E-Learning PD, an online professional development portal offered by World Education.


This interactive webinar series focuses on changes occurring in adult education that bode well for science teaching and learning, especially inclusion of science as a content area for rigorous English and mathematics college and career readiness instruction and high school equivalency tests.

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.@ProLiteracy's Adult Literacy Education journal is seeking submissions for their upcoming special issue! Submit your papers on online learning, technology integration, and digital literacy to be considered. Read the submission guidelines here: