Lessons from a state-funded workplace literacy program
By Leighton Walter Kille
December 21, 2009
A 2009 study by researchers from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, “Lessons Learned from a State-Funded Workplace Literacy Program,” assessed the benefits of workplace literacy training in 10 sites throughout the state of Indiana. Training included computer skills as well as basic literacy and math skills. On average, trainees were about 40 years of age and had English as their first language; more than 50% had no education beyond a high school diploma or GED certificate.
In addition to a number of non-quantitative benefits such as improved morale and increased productivity, the study found that basic workplace literacy training was effective. As measured by the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System and the Internet Computing Core Certification, benefits included:
- 67% of trainees had positive gains in math skills, with the average gain of the whole sample at 4.7 points.
- 57% of trainees had positive reading gains, with the average gain of the whole sample at 2.8 points
- Trainees for whom English was a second language had larger gains: 10 points for math and 8 for reading
- While computer literacy training was more varied, more than 50% of trainees engaged in computer skills training (64%) passed the certification.
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Citation: Hollenbeck, Kevin; et al. "Lessons Learned from a State-Funded Workplace Literacy Program," W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, March, 2009, (PDF).