TEL Library Launches Career Readiness Pilot Program for Rehabilitation and Diversion Centers

by | Jul 26, 2018 | News

TEL Library announces pilot partnerships with Oklahoma rehabilitation and diversion centers including OCARTA wellness hub, Pellow House mentoring program and Men’s 1st Step Diversion Center to introduce its Career Foundations curriculum. Beginning in September, participants will spend 24 weeks developing the requisite communication, math, computing, and business skills for career development and professional success.

Career Foundations is a post-secondary curriculum designed specifically for rehabilitation and correctional centers. The program prepares adult learners with high school or equivalent education for middle-skills jobs and career development, and also provides clear pathways for ongoing postsecondary education.

According to TEL Library Executive Director, Rob Reynolds, Career Foundations is designed to give hope to the millions of adults in the U.S. who think a professional career and success are beyond their reach, particularly those in rehabilitation programs and correctional centers.

“We believe that every adult in the U.S. should have access to education opportunities that will help them launch real careers with livable wages. This is a key pathway to hope for many in our society. One of the most underserved groups consists of the millions of adults in U.S. rehabilitation and correctional centers.”

Reynolds points to research from Rand Corporation, which shows that correctional center inmates participating in education programs are 43 percent less likely to return to prison than those who do not. “Education provides motivation and reward,” Reynolds says, “and also gives adults the understanding they need to make better life decisions.”

Career Foundations is an education curriculum that prepares adults of all ages for middle-skill jobs and promotes continued professional growth after employment. The program offers turnkey preparation for professional and financial growth through middle-skill jobs, as well as opportunities for continued postsecondary education toward advanced certificates or Associate’s degrees in Health Science, Information Technology, or Business and Manufacturing.

The pilot program is offered for free to participating organizations and is designed as a partnership between TEL Library and participating organizations, each with a mission to improve the lives of young adults and adults through their respective programs. TEL Library’s goal is to supplement the important missions of our partner organizations by offering an education program that recognizes the specific needs of adult learners in correctional and rehabilitation centers, and that provides hope by expanding participants’ personal and professional horizons.

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Fifty-three percent of the U.S. labor market in 2015 was comprised of middle-skills jobs, but only 43 percent of the country’s workers possessed the needed skills to fill them. The skills gap is set to widen as 63 percent of U.S. jobs in 2018 will require education between a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree, and these middle-skills jobs will comprise 48 percent of all job openings through 2024.”

The Career Foundations curriculum is designed entirely with workplace situations and tasks in mind. In addition, this applied-learning framework is designed to give participants the academic, literacy, and skills foundations they need to:

  • Secure middle-skill jobs with higher earning potential and meaningful career advancement opportunities
  • Excel as employees in a wide range of roles, and advance with regards to responsibility and salary
  • Stand out for their communication and teamwork abilities
  • Demonstrate the problem-solving and leadership skills required to receive promotion;
  • Adapt quickly to new technologies and other changes in the workplace
  • Develop a lifelong learning mentality that leads them to pursue ongoing educational opportunities

To learn more about the Career Foundations program and the middle skills gap, download our white paper.

About TEL Library
TEL Library is a non-profit, public library dedicated to providing quality and affordable learning for all. It is an online curriculum library of college level, general education content available through a free reference collection, textbooks, courses, and program management services.

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