$35M sought for adult education programs

BOSTON (WWLP) – More adults want to get back in the classroom.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education wants the state to invest $35 million to improve adult basic education, which they say will increase future employment.

There are nearly 640,000 adults in the state that don’t have a high school diploma, and many of them are immigrants that don’t speak English well. With 69% of employers saying they aren’t finding qualified job applicants, the MCAE thinks it’s time to invest in the future.

“The immigrants who are coming to this country are the source of population growth here. They are our workforce for our future, as are the adults who currently don’t have the skills in order to get jobs,” Roberta Stoolman of the MCAE said.

The amount that they are requesting represents a $5 million jump from last year, to provide basic skills to fit the state’s job market. The extra $5 million would also go toward compensating teachers so that they don’t leave for higher-paying jobs.

There are a number of adult education programs in western Massachusetts such as those at: Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, at the Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee and Holyoke Works.

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