Submit your preliminary design by November 25.

Submit your preliminary design by November 25.

About the challenge

Apprenticeships expand career opportunities, but many adult learners face barriers to accessing them. Pre-apprenticeships break down these barriers by helping adults enter, prepare for, and succeed in apprenticeships and other industry roles.

The Rethink Adult Ed Challenge invites AEFLA-funded adult education providers to design innovative and high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs — in any industry, anywhere in the United States.


The challenge will be conducted in two stages. During Stage 1, all eligible organizations will be invited to submit a preliminary design of a pre-apprenticeship program. Up to 100 finalists will progress to Stage 2 and gain access to the virtual accelerator. At the end of Stage 2, a judging panel will select one grand-prize winner and up to five runners-up.

We are here

Stage 1: Open submissions

September 24 - November 25, 2020

Finalists announced

January 2021

Stage 2: Virtual accelerator

February - June 2021

Winners announced

Summer 2021


Total prize pool


In Stage 2, finalists will participate in a virtual accelerator, where they will have access to resources and support from subject matter experts to help them design their programs. A grand-prize winner will receive $250,000 and up to five runners-up will receive at least $100,000 each.


What are pre-apprenticeships, why are they important, and what makes programs effective? Find answers to these questions, review resources, and share suggested materials.