WAGETM is a job readiness training program conducted by the Adult Education Division of the Arkansas Department of Career Education. WAGETM is needed because nearly half a million Arkansans 18 years of age or older function below a 12th grade level. 399,755 Arkansans lack basic literacy skills and 198,000 working-age Arkansans (25-64) have less than a high school diploma.
The WAGETM program places the employer at the center of an effort to redefine basic skills required by today’s high-performance workplaces and enables educators to provide workplace relevant instruction tied to the employment goals of learners while meeting the employability and performance requirements desired by employers.
Educators of Adult Education are trained to conduct Literacy Task Analysis. When conducting a LTA, employers allow educators to observe and help identify and analyze the basic skills needed to perform the job. Through the LTA, adult educators are able to identify significant competencies and an average reading level that the employee needs to possess in order to demonstrate job performance skills. The WAGETM program uses 112 competencies that are based on the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). These competencies are matched with every critical task the employee is expected to perform. Each task may have more than one competency necessary to perform the task. Frequency charts are made for the company showing how many times a certain competency is required in the performance of the observed job. From this Literacy Task Analysis, educators develop and build contextual, customized lessons for skills considered most important and occurring most frequently. Educators are also able to develop lessons to help students see the basic skills application with a real work scenario. Literacy Task Analysis is conducted state wide and it helps with the work based curriculum and the creation of the WAGE competency test.
The WAGETM Program and the Literacy Task Analysis is at no cost to students or the employer. If your company is experiencing waste, turnovers, safety issues, work ethic issues, it may be time to give Adult Education a chance to bridge the literacy gap. You can call Pulaski County Adult Education Center at 501-945-6055 or go to aalrc.org and find a WAGETM program closest to you.