Concho Valley offers first-of-its-kind diploma completion solution for young adults, supported by 24-7 wraparound services
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 12, 2015) — The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that took effect July 1 requires key changes for workforce investment boards, which must be more strategic in how they connect out of school youth with education and job training opportunities. To meet these new requirements, the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board in rural west Texas has partnered with Graduation Alliance to offer an online diploma completion and workforce training program that will help identify dropouts and put them on a clear path to success.
The partnership will equip young adult dropouts in the rural Texas area with the education and training they need to qualify for in-demand living-wage jobs, while addressing the need for qualified workers in industries such as manufacturing and health care. As a key component of this program, participants will receive fully connected web-enabled laptops to participate in online courses and will receive personalized support services from Graduation Alliance – both preparing them to complete their secondary education remotely and at their own pace. The result: participants will earn a fully accredited high school diploma, not a GED.
“Engaging out-of-school youth and encouraging them to continue their education is a big challenge for us,” said Mike Buck, executive director of the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board. “Our partnership with Graduation Alliance will allow us to meet this challenge by giving us a successful method to reach young adults and a more flexible way for them to learn important skills, coupled with the kind of supports we know are critical for success. This service will be a great complement to the existing job training and placement services we provide, and we’re excited about the possibilities that it offers.”
Targeting working-age adults who left high school before graduating, Graduation Alliance’s Workforce Diploma program is a fully portable and flexible solution that yields an average return on investment of more than 70 to 1. Participants who complete the program receive basic and skill-specific credentials, earn industry-based certifications, and feel empowered to take on challenging, in-demand careers or explore other postsecondary and higher education options.
“Young adults with a high school diploma are much better positioned for success in life,” said Rebekah Richards, chief academic officer and co-founder of Graduation Alliance. “High school diplomas provide a gateway to higher paying jobs that offer lifelong careers, enabling diploma holders to break the cycle of poverty that historically has plagued dropouts. Our Workforce Diploma program provides an opportunity for a fresh start.”
Concho Valley’s partnership with Graduation Alliance is also timely, Buck noted, because of new requirements imposed by the WIOA. Passed by Congress last year, the law requires workforce investment boards to spend 75 percent of their funding for youth-related services on out-of-school youth (defined as ages 16-24). This change will require workforce investment boards to be more deliberate and strategic in how they provide services to out of school youth, and with its comprehensive, holistic approach to servicing this key demographic, Graduation Alliance is uniquely positioned to help.
The program includes access to more than 200 online courses, including electives designed in cooperation with employers nationwide to ensure students’ workforce readiness; shorter “bite-sized” courses that offer quicker, positive feedback and encouragement to students; 24-7 academic support from highly qualified teachers, personal academic coaches, and tutors; and career transition counselors who stay with students throughout their education, training, and job placement. Participants also have access to Graduation Alliance’s proprietary education and career management tool, which provides key information to participants about the high-demand careers in their region including the skills and training required to enter each field.
The program is now available to Concho Valley residents at http://www.cvworkforce.org; for more information, call the Concho Valley Workforce Solutions Center at (325) 653-2321 ext. 1274.
To learn more about Graduation Alliance’s Workforce Diploma Program, including its average return on investment, go to http://www.graduationalliance.com/workforce-diploma.html.
About Graduation Alliance
Graduation Alliance strengthens communities, states and the economy by preparing and empowering tomorrow’s workforce. Through highly effective postsecondary planning, alternative education and training programs, Graduation Alliance ensures every student has an opportunity to succeed during and after high school. For more information about Graduation Alliance, visit www.graduationalliance.com.
About the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board
The Concho Valley Workforce Development Board (CVWDB) is one of 28 workforce boards serving the state of Texas. Its mission is to promote the economic well-being of all residents by ensuring that every resident has the opportunity to work in his or her chosen field and that every business’s workforce is trained and ready. CVWDB serves a 13-county area covering about 17,000 square miles and approximately 175,000 people. For more information, visithttp://www.cvworkforce.org.