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OCTC Receives Award to Educate Adult Learners

Owensboro, KY (August 30, 2011) Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) as part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, in partnership with Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) and the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), has been awarded a $200-thousand dollar design grant as a part of Accelerating Opportunity, a Breaking Through Initiative. Supported by a strategic partnership of five of the nation's leading philanthropies, Accelerating Opportunity will help Kentucky transform adult education into more successful pathways leading to economic security for underprepared workers in today's demanding job market.

OCTC is particularly pleased to be chosen to participate in the Accelerating Opportunity: a Breaking Through initiative. In 2006, OCTC was selected as one of seven Leadership colleges for the launch of this national movement. Since that time, our Workforce Solutions division and entire institution has been actively engaged in providing innovative programming which better links under-skilled workers to industry recognized postsecondary credentials, said Dr. Jim Klauber, president of Owensboro Community and Technical College.

The number of adults who lack skills beyond a high school diploma is a national crisis. It is predicted by the year 2018, 54 percent of all jobs in Kentuckymore than 1 million jobswill require some level of postsecondary education or training. In the Greater Owensboro region, less than 20% of the population has a post-secondary credential. Through this partnership, we can increase the number of area residents earning college credentials. The Accelerating Opportunity initiative will build on the EDCs efforts to develop and ensure a competitive workforce and pipeline of qualified employees, said Nick Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation.

The goal of OCTCs participation in the Accelerating Opportunity initiative is to create programs that integrate basic skills with practical, occupational training. Design grants were also awarded to, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin. After the design stage, the states will be eligible to compete for implementation grants, of which five states will receive $1.6 million each over three years to implement their plans. The initiative will engage nearly 40 community colleges across the country and impact more than 18 thousand adult learners. Educational pathways to higher skills, credentials and employment will be rigorously tested and independently evaluated.