There are 36 million working age adults in the U.S. who have limited basic skills in math, reading, or spoken English. Two-thirds of these individuals are currently employed. Traditional, sequential models for helping these adults build skills can be discouraging for workers who face the prospect of spending months or even years in basic education before they can begin occupational training.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ("WIOA") addresses this need by including a requirement that states provide Integrated Education and Training ("IET") services.
IET has emerged as an approach to help people acquire or refresh key basic skills while also pursuing occupational or industry-specific training. Instruction in basic skills such as math, reading, or spoken English is provided simultaneously with training for a specific occupation or industry. This approach recognizes that busy, working adults need opportunities to acquire basic skills in a meaningful context that has an immediate application, enables credential attainment, and can directly increase their earning power.
The three required components of IET are
- Adult Education and Literacy, including:
- adult education
- workplace adult education and literacy activities
- family literacy activities
- English language acquisition activities
2. Workforce Preparation:
Activities, programs, or services designed to help an individual acquire a combination of basic academic skills, critical thinking skills, digital literacy skills, and self-management skills
3. Workforce Training for a specific occupation:
- occupational skill training
- on-the-job training
- incumbent worker training
- training programs operated by the private sector
- skill upgrading and retraining
- entrepreneurial training
- transitional jobs
The core educational strategy for WIOA partners and private sector stakeholders is the creation of quality career pathways. The alignment of IET curriculum with the skill needs of the local economy and the use of occupationally relevant materials puts students on those career pathways.
For more information on IET and its incorporation into WIOA, please visit the following links: