Northeast State Community College has been named a new Tennessee service provider for adult education services.
The College is one of eight service providers announced by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) to coordinate adult education programs in each of the state’s 95 counties today. Northeast State was awarded a $798,000 grant to oversee delivery of the program.
Debbie Tabor, who currently oversees the Sullivan County Adult Education program, has been selected to lead the effort.
Northeast State will serve District 1 which includes Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties.
According to College officials, District 1 has a population of more than 40,000 who might benefit from adult education services. Northeast State’s plan, developed from input of current program providers, is to serve the adult learners who are deficient in basic skills and those who lack their high school diploma or equivalency.
Ultimately, the program will help adults to complete a high school education, transition to postsecondary education and training, and obtain employment.
Currently, Tennessee has 40 adult education service delivery areas, each with a separate entity overseeing the program in its respective part of the state.
On July 1, 2016 TDLWD will restructure those service delivery areas into eight districts. During fiscal year 2015-2016 the state of Tennessee paid $3.15 million in administrative costs associated with the adult education program. The realignment to eight districts will reduce those administrative costs by $2.1 million in fiscal year 2016-2017.
“We will take that $2 million and invest into Tennessee’s adult learners,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “I am confident this restructure will greatly improve Tennessee’s adult education program and help thousands of Tennesseans find better jobs.”
The Department will take the money once spent on overhead costs and nearly double the number of full-time instructors across the state, increasing the figure from 35 to 62 instructors.
With the new service contracts, which are effective July 1, providers in the eight districts will be able to offer full-time instructors a starting salary of $40,000. The current salary for a beginning adult education instructor is $28,809.
“This will allow our service providers to hire full-time instructors who are more familiar and fluent in the adult education curriculum and allow them to dedicate more time to students,” Phillips said.
Between now and July 1, TDLWD will work with the eight new providers to coordinate the start-up of the restructured program.
Here is a list of districts and service providers:
District 1 – Northeast State Community College
District 2 – Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Knoxville
District 3 – Putnam County Schools
District 4 – Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Athens
District 5 – Workforce Essentials
District 6 – South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance
District 7 – Henderson County Schools
District 8 – HopeWorks