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 invited AEFLA-funded adult education providers to design innovative and high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs — in any industry, anywhere in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge on September 9, 2021. The five winners will receive a share of the $750,000 prize pool.
The challenge was conducted in two stages. During Stage 1, all eligible organizations were invited to submit a preliminary design of a pre-apprenticeship program. Ninety-five finalists were selected to progress to the Stage 2 virtual accelerator. Following scoring by a review panel and judging panel, five prize winners were selected.
Stage 1: Open submissions
Stage 2: Virtual accelerator
Total prize pool
In Stage 2, finalists participated in a virtual accelerator, which provided resources and support from subject matter experts to help them refine their program designs. The grand-prize winner received $250,000, the first runner-up received $200,000, and three runners-up received $100,000.
Following the challenge, the U.S. Department of Education launched a self-paced online learning course via LINCS. This course is designed to help adult education providers develop new pre-apprenticeships, as well as support providers who are implementing similar integrated education and training programs.