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Workforce Partnerships

How does ABE partner with workforce entities to design and deliver adult career pathway (ACP) programs? What are the various programs within a WorkForce Center of One-Stop? What roles can workforce partners play in serving ACP participants? How do local workforce development boards work and what is their role in ACP program development? What are some examples of successful ABE-workforce partnerships for ACP programming?

These tools and reference materials will help answer many of these questions and guide you in setting the foundation for best practices in adult career pathway programming.

ABE-Workforce Partnerships for Adult Career Pathways Programming – Webinar Recording

ATLAS, Program Development PD Cohort, November 2017

Building relationships with WorkForce Center partners is crucial to successful adult career pathway programming. Hear about successes in the field from workforce and ABE professionals, and get what you need to take the next steps in your locality.

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Adult Career Pathway Project Flow Chart – Example 1

Fergus Falls, MN ABE Program

This simple flow chart helps all partners in the adult career pathway project understand the steps from recruitment through employment placement. Use this as a model for your own flow chart.


Adult Career Pathway Project Flow Chart – Example 2

Mankato, MN ABE Program

This much more complex flow chart helps all partners in the adult career pathway project understand the steps from ABE and the partner community and technical college planning the integrated college course to successful participant completion. Use this as a model for your own flow chart.


Career Pathways Toolkit: Element One - Build Cross-Agency Partnerships and Clarify Roles

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, 2017

Element One of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to engage cross-agency partners and employers; establish a shared vision, mission, goals and strategies; define the roles and responsibilities of all partners; and develop a work plan and/or memorandum or understanding for the partnership. (61 pages.)


Employability Measures Chart

Minnesota Dept. of Human Services

A useful one-page chart that assists a case manager or ABE staff person to assess a participant’s employability based on eleven factors – transportation, education, stability of housing, and more.


Local Workforce Development Plans – Worksheet

ATLAS Adult Career Pathways Program Development Cohort

A useful 3-page guide for finding and analyzing key information in your lengthy Local Workforce Development Plan which should inform development of adult career pathway programming.


Minnesota Adult Basic Education Program Finder

Minnesota Department of Education

This overlay map allows you to display boundaries for any or all of the following: ABE consortia, ABE transitions regions, career and technical education, Perkins consortia, school district boundaries, Minnesota State school sites, workforce centers, and workforce development areas. A helpful tool in defining career pathway program needs in a particular area and identifying potential partner institutions.

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Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA) Roles


A one-page quick reference of MWCA’s purpose, membership, functions and structure.


Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA) Website

MWCA represents the cooperative efforts of 16 area workforce councils across the state. The MWCA website is the go-to online source for regional and local workforce development board plans, WIOA resources, the Governor’s workforce development council, and much more.

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Minnesota’s Workforce System

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA)

A useful two-page overview WorkForce Centers, workforce development areas, roles of workforce development boards and elected officials, and functions of MWCA.


MWCA Orientation Guide

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA)

A resource for Minnesota’s local workforce development boards, this 70-page guide provides an overview of the public workforce system, workforce development boards, information on legalities, and other useful reference material for ABE practitioners new to the workforce system and the role of regional and local workforce development boards.


Presenter Tips – English Language Learner Classes

Saint Paul, MN ABE

Workforce partners may not have background in effective communication strategies with English language learners. These simple tips can be sent in advance of partners from workforce or other agencies coming to present information to an ELL class. Tips include “less is more,” write it down, use visuals and props, and several more useful ideas.


Referral Form WFC – ABE – Example 1

Mankato, MN ABE

Establishing effective cross-referral systems is an essential and challenging aspect of adult basic education and workforce center partnerships. Once the system is in place, a form needs to be created in consultation with front-line staff that works for everyone involved. This simple one-page form has been used successfully in Mankato.


Referral Form WFC – ABE – Example 2

Albert Lea, MN ABE

Here is another one-page cross-referral form with a bit more information included, co-developed by adult basic education and Workforce Development Inc. in Albert Lea.


Regional and Local Workforce Development Area MN Map

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA)

A useful color-coded reference map of Minnesota’s six Regional Workforce Development Areas and the smaller Local Workforce Development Areas within each region.


WIOA Core Partners

ATLAS, 2018

This chart defines the basic purpose of Title I Adult & Dislocated Worker Program, Title I Youth Program, Title II Adult Basic Education, Title III Job Service, and Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation Services. In addition, it outlines the potential roles each can take in adult career pathway programs.


WIOA One-Stop Fact Sheet

U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. This two-page fact sheet outlines highlights of WIOA reforms for one-stop centers (which we most often call WorkForce Centers in Minnesota) and lists the six WIOA core programs.


WIOA Participant Performance Outcomes

Center for Law & Social Policy

All WIOA partners now share the same performance measures, which creates a significant incentive to collaborate to serve participants. This simple visual outlines the measurable skill gains, credential outcomes and labor market outcomes defined in WIOA regulations. A useful tool for discussion between ABE and workforce partners.


WorkForce Center Contacts

ATLAS, 2017

Many entities are found under the WorkForce Center (WFC) or One-Stop roof. As you develop relationships at the WFC, this simple tool helps you keep track of the “ who – what – how” of it all. Record and update contact information in grids as you go along.


Workforce Center Required Partners

Minnesota Dept. of Education, 2017

A useful 4-page document that will assist Adult Basic Education practitioners to understand the roles of WIOA partners and the services these partners can provide in adult career pathway programming. These six programs are considered “required partners” under WIOA and are usually housed within the WorkForce Center.


Workforce Collaborations Build a System of Supports for Immigrants

World Education

How can workforce development agencies and adult education programs work together to strengthen each other’s services to immigrant language learners? This 6-page fact sheet describes how community networks in three different parts of the country answered this question. Each one received support to build its collaborative work through the Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative.