Today, in recognition of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge, a $750,000 competition to advance pre-apprenticeships. The Department invites adult education providers to design programs that better prepare learners for apprenticeships and beyond.

“Too many adult learners are missing out on opportunities for well-paid and rewarding careers, whether due to skills gaps, family responsibilities, financial situations, or a lack of awareness about apprenticeships in general,” said Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Scott Stump. “We’re addressing these hurdles by advancing innovative pre-apprenticeship programs that will benefit everyone — including adult learners, employers, and the communities around them.”

Submit a preliminary design by November 25

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funded community colleges, correctional facilities, libraries, community-based organizations, and other adult education providers interested in entering the challenge should complete a Stage 1 submission by November 25, 2020. The online submission form asks for a preliminary design for a pre-apprenticeship program, including a description of the target learners, the adult education activities the program may provide, and local and national industry needs.

Ask questions at the October 15 virtual information session

To learn more about entering the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge, join a virtual information session on  October 15. The challenge team will discuss the role of pre-apprenticeships in expanding career opportunities and how the multistage challenge will support participating adult education providers. The session will culminate with a live Q&A. 

Register today and submit your questions in advance to

Access virtual resources and expert support to create an innovative program

A review panel will select up to 100 finalists to join Stage 2, which runs from February to July 2021. Finalists will have access to a range of digital resources — such as case studies, activities, and webinars with subject matter experts — to help them refine their designs and develop more detailed program proposals. 

A judging panel will review the Stage 2 proposals and select one grand-prize winner and up to five runners-up. The grand-prize winner will be awarded $250,000, and up to five runners-up will each receive at least $100,000.

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