National Engagement Session
Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Welcome to the website for the U.S. Department of Education's Engagement Process to Develop a National Plan to Improve the Skills of Low-Skilled Adults. This engagement process follows Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) release of the findings of the international Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

It also follows the release of a report by OECD, Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says. This report is the first in a decade that quantifies the population of low-skilled adults and takes a closer look at who these low-skilled adults are.

The kick-off session for this engagement process will take place on Wednesday, November 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Please register for the session and find background materials, directions, and other information using the tabs to the left.

This national engagement process was launched with the end goal of developing a national plan to improve the foundation skills of low-skilled adults in the United States. The Department wants feedback from individuals, state officials, education officials, businesses, industry, and labor leaders, researchers, data experts, education associations, philanthropies, policy leaders, and others concerned with the health, well-being, and democracy in America.

In particular, the Department wants the country's best ideas and most creative thinking to address several key themes:

  • Expanding opportunities for adults to improve foundation skills by scaling up proven practices and using emerging technologies to personalize and accelerate learning for America's low-skilled working population.
  • Building stronger partnerships among business, industry, labor, state and local governments, and others, in order to sustain the nation's workforce capacity, economic vitality, and democratic values.
  • Strengthening the connection between foundation skills and workforce readiness in ways that help adults gain basic skills, particularly in the STEM fields, and pursue specific occupations and credentials more rapidly.

The Department will use the feedback received to develop a national plan to improve the skills of low-skilled adults. And, we invite members of the general public to send their ideas and suggestions for the national plan that will be released this coming spring.