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Workforce Preparation Resources

Workforce preparation is an essential component of integrated education and training programs (IET), and it is a valuable addition to any adult education course offering. As many classes and training programs transition to distance learning models, workforce preparation activities become increasingly important to support learners as they become more independent and self-directed in their learning.

Workforce preparation activities, as defined by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), refer to skills and competencies that are not only useful in the workplace, but are fundamental life skills that include critical thinking, digital skills, self-management, working with others, and understanding information and systems.

Professional Development Opportunities

Essential Resources 

The Virginia IET Blueprint: This Integrated Education and Training (IET) blueprint is adapted from the PluggedInVA model, a career pathways program that integrates academic and literacy skills, workforce preparation activities, and occupational training through simultaneous co-enrollment in adult education and postsecondary education and training. On this site, you’ll find resources for all stages of IET planning and implementation. 

The IET Planning Tool ​: The IET Planning Tool, developed by the Virginia Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (CTAE) is a two-page document that outlines the types of cohorts, credentials, occupational training partners, instructional schedules, instructional standards, and expected outcomes for an adult education program’s planned IETs for a fiscal year. Guidance on how to fill out this tool is provided on the CTAE Professional Development page

Instructional Resources

Workforce Preparation Activities on the IET Blueprint: This page of the VALRC site features a selection of ready-to-use resources and evidence-based instructional strategies for integrating and contextualizing instruction, two important components of delivering engaging workforce preparation activities in adult education programs.

LINCS, Workforce Preparation Activities Brief: This brief covers what it means to have workforce preparation skills, why it’s important, and how instructors can incorporate them into instruction. 

Employability Skills Framework: Successful careers are built on solid personal and interpersonal skills. Defining, measuring, and building these skills— even naming them— can be challenging. In an effort to leverage and connect the efforts of policy makers, educators, and employers, the U.S. Department of Education compiled the Employability Skills Framework and developed related tools, media and resources.

LINCS Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom: Contextualizing Employability Skills for Deeper Learning Self-Paced Course: This course is designed for adult educators, administrators, teachers, and advisors who would like more familiarity with how workforce preparation and employability skills can be incorporated into instructional activities. Participants will gain knowledge related to contextualized instruction, best practices for workforce preparation activities, and resources to develop and incorporate workforce preparation activities.

Resources for Integrated Education and Training Models

Career Pathways Toolkit: A Guide for Systems Development: This Toolkit, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, is designed to assist state level and regional leaders who represent one of the core partners under a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan to provide the workforce system with a framework, resources, and tools for the development, implementation, and maintenance of career pathways systems and programs. The Toolkit utilizes the Career One-Stop competency model as a building block for creating career pathways programs and references the Career One-Stop credentials Toolkit as an easy way to search existing industry-recognized credentials.

LINCS Career Pathways Checklist: This 10-page checklist from LINCS is designed to help determine the extent to which a newly developed or existing adult career pathways program meets the requirements for career pathways as outlined in WIOA.

Integrated Education and Training Design Toolkit and Train-the-trainer Resources, LINCS: The Integrated Education and Training Design Toolkit guides users through a team-based approach to develop customized IET solutions that address the needs of adult learners and local businesses through four iterative phases: Research and Assess, Design and Plan, Develop and Implement, and Evaluate and Improve. Train-the-Trainer materials are also available to support the IET Design process. 

For more resources related to workforce preparation, see our VALRC resource bank on career pathways at https://valrc.org/resources/career-pathways/