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Business Center
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A proud partner of the american job center network.

Literacy Education

Do you have employees whose effectiveness is limited by low literacy or poor math skills? If so, you can increase your workforce productivity through Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs.

How literacy issues affect business

Just over 20% of adults living in the United States have not achieved high school graduation or an equivalent education. Of these, one-third grew up speaking a language other than English. To support adults in obtaining the skills and knowledge needed for employment and economic self-sufficiency, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) established the Adult Basic Education program.

If you observe deficits in your employees’ basic math, reading comprehension and writing skills, ABE can help. And English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is often available in the same location as ABE.

About Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Some basic facts to know about ABE programs:

  • To be eligible for training through ABE programs, individuals must be at least age 16, not enrolled in high school, and functioning below the 12th grade level in any of the basic academic areas: reading, math, writing and speaking English.
  • ABE programs are available to the public through public schools, libraries, community-based organizations, and other providers. Programs cover basic skills such as reading, math, GED preparation, and English literacy, and incur no cost to the individual participant.
  • For workplace-based instruction, a business may also request that an ABE program be scheduled and taught on-site to employees. Instructors focus on employees’ work tasks and workplace language needs. Employers pay minimal costs, usually hourly teacher rates and curriculum development if necessary.
  • If you have employees interested in attending college, ABE also supports college preparatory education through post-secondary education and training initiatives.

For help finding ABE programs in your area, contact your local American Job Center and connect with a Business Services Representative or another resource that can help.

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